At Jake’s words, Chloran who was startled looked at him with a crying face, Chloran’s face seemed to say ‘what if that witch leaves Ren somewhere!? ’
There weren’t too many bad things she had done recently.
But there were some terrible deeds that Sielra had done in the past, so it was understandable.
But right now there was no time to resort, ‘please just trust me just once.’ Even now, Ren’s body’s temperature was on fire.
“Chloran.” Jack was also aware of that, he called Chloran in a soft voice.
Chloran looked at Jack with resentful eyes.
On the outside, Jake seems like an innocent child, but his personality was completely different.
He was taking care of the children as their guardian.
So the moment Jake disappeared, Chloran and the other kids……..
Then, in the meantime, the carriage arrived.
I was anxious for a while because what if the children disappeared again, but after thinking a little bit about it, they won’t run away as long as Ren was with me.
Instead, I asked with a worried look.
“Do you know the way back to the orphanage?”
“Yes, I memorised it all.”
“……alright then, please be careful while going back.
If you’re hungry, make something to eat.”
Jake opened his eyes wide at my unexpectedly at my words.
Jake started to take the children back.
It was exactly the path back to the orphanage.
After giving a smile to Chloran, who looked back anxiously, it only seemed to have had the opposite effect.
I hurriedly got into the carriage With Ren in my arms.
I looked at Ren and bowed my head.
Ren was heavily breathing out in my arms.
Holding Ren who was in a terrible state in my arms, I froze.
“I’m so sorry……” Even though it might not be my fault, while I went out to get some things to change the orphanage a little, I didn’t expect Ren to be sick.
‘I’m sure she hasn’t been feeling well since this morning.’
There was no way she could get sick all of a sudden.
Ren hid the fact even though there must have been signs.
Because there was no reliable guardian she could tell and ask help from, there was no choice but to hide it and suffer.
It happened because of a selfish adult who drove this little girl to suffer.
“I’m so sorry.”
Now all I could do was apologise.
“She has a bad fever.
If you were a little later, then it could have been a big problem.”
The doctor who examined Ren said.
He quickly took out the medicines from the first aid box.
I was relieved by the fact that I reached here in time.
“I gave her some medicine, so she will need to get some rest then her fever will go down.”
When the doctor left I sat next to Ren’s bed.
I was feeling exhausted as if I was the one who had a fever.
Come to think of it, I ate nothing all day after breakfast.
But I don’t have any appetite for anything right now.
‘She was so light.’
I looked at Ren’s skinny wrist and recalled the weight I felt when I held her in my arms.
‘Why are you so thin?’
It’s not just Ren.
Rodi and Jack, Chloran and the other girl.
They are all too thin for how their body should be around their age.
I’m sure it’s because the nutrition is disproportionate.
‘When I return back, I’ll have to feed you guys a lot first…… .
I breathed a deep sigh.
My eyes suddenly glanced at the child’s thighs as I was looking at Ren with my hand on my chin.
I looked at it silently for a moment and reached out my hand carefully to lift the hem of her skirt.
And I was relieved.
‘Fortunately, there are no scars.’
Considering that there was still a maid in the orphanage, I expected that it was before Sierra physically abused the children, but I still checked just in case.
If Ren had a scar left on her body, I could never restore my relationship with the children.
It was a good thing for me to restore my relationship with the children and to get rid of my terrible misfortune.
As soon as I breathed a sigh of relief, a weak voice reached my ear.
I raised my head.
As expected, things were not at the worst possible level yet.
“Mom……Don’t abandon me, please…… I’m sorry, I’m sorry.….”
I stopped breathing at the weak voice from Ren’s mouth.
Tears streamed down through the child’s eyes.
Ren had not come back to her senses yet.
Is she dreaming? Or did the words that she had hidden deep in her heart unconsciously come out while she is not conscious?
I looked at Ren without saying a word.
Why did Ren’s appearance remind me of when I was young?
I raised my hand and handed over my hand on her sweaty hair and murmured.
“Don’t cry, I’ll protect you.”
All I could think about was living a new life here after the children were safely independent as well as to protect my life.
However, I changed my mind when I saw Ren, who couldn’t even say that she was sick even though her body’s temperature was increasing, and the children who escaped from the orphanage to save her.
Life after closing the orphanage was not a matter to think about now.
Right now, allowing children to grow up in a better environment than anything else was more important.
And to leave no more scars on their already wounded hearts.
I had to think about what I would do in the future for that.
I looked down at Ren quietly and whispered.
“……so sleep well, Ren.”
When will Ren wake up? After patting her head, I got up.
I didn’t know when she was going to wake up, so I was going to get some water.
When the door closed, Ren slowly opened her eyes.
(from Ren’s pov)
I don’t know when I came to my senses.
But I felt the touch of a hand as if it was stroking my forehead while calling me.
-“Don’t cry, I’ll protect you.”
I never expected that she would say such words.
It was hard to believe.
But more than that somehow I wanted to believe it.
Ren smiled pleasantly.
I closed my eyes.
And I slept with the feeling of a fresh breeze blowing.
This time, I felt like I was going to have a good dream.
“Ren, are you sure that you are feeling well?”
I asked with a worried face as I watched Ren getting ready for discharge.
The doctor said it was okay to leave the hospital, but she had such a terrible fever yesterday! I wish she could stay for another day.
“I am feeling okay now.
I’m sure Rodi would be worried about me.
And I don’t think Chloran can live another day without me now.”
Ren, who spoke so confidently and firmly, was wearing the clothes she had worn before.
Those were the clothes she was wearing before when I arrived, so they were still ugly and sloppy.
When Ren, who had changed her clothes, looked at me with her eyes, I sighed lightly and reached out to Ren.
Ren looked at me in wonder.
This time I became conscious of my actions.
‘It became a habit to hold the sick children’s hands when I was at the orphanage in my previous one…….’
In particular, it was a habit of mine to hold hands tightly of the sick children to prevent the child from falling while walking.
Ren and I aren’t close enough to hold hands yet.
Ren’s embarrassment made me smile awkwardly and hold back my hand.
No! don’t take it back.
I was going to hold it.
I was surprised.
Ren, who held my hand tightly, looked ahead and said.
“…… let’s go, director.”
I nodded and started walking following her steps.
Outside, there was a carriage that had been called in advance.
“Oh! She’s all better now.”
“Yes, she is, and thank you for yesterday.”
“No problem lady, Lady, get in.”
“Yes, once again thank you.”
The carriage I called was none other than the carriage I rented yesterday.
The coachman was the same man.
He knew the location of the orphanage, and in thanks for his help yesterday I wanted to repay him back so I rented his carriage once more.
Several small packages had already been placed in the carriage.
While Ren looked at me curiously, I looked at the packages and explained.
“They are medicines for fever, stomach medicines, and disinfectants.
I didn’t want anything like yesterday to happen again, that’s why I brought them… … ”
While Ren was sleeping, I went to the pharmacy and bought everything we could ever need, but I wondered if this was enough.
What happened yesterday was too shocking to me.
According to the doctor, Ren’s fever would have gone down quickly if she had taken the medicine for fever, and had gotten a good rest.
However, the child lost consciousness because these simple and basic things were not done for her.
Which was ultimately because the orphanage did not have a healthy environment for the children.
‘I won’t let it happen again.’
But there was something that I learned from it.
‘In the original story, Ren had a major fever when she was 10 years old.
So maybe Ren and Chloran are 10 years old right now.
And Rodi is 7 and Jack is 14 years old…’
But who was that other girl? I couldn’t recognize her.
Last night, while I was sitting next to Ren who was sleeping, I recalled the whole book to figure it out.
But the main characters in the orphanage were Chloran, Ren, Rodi, and Jack.
Only those four.
As far as I recall, there were originally four rather than five children.
So, who was that other kid?
I became lost in my thoughts as the carriage began to move.
While I was thinking deeply, I heard a voice that made me come back to my senses.
“I don’t know if you’ll be offended by saying this, but director…… I think you’ve changed.”
At Ren’s words, I narrowed my eyes and looked at Ren.
Ren continued, While avoiding my gaze.
“You wouldn’t have taken me to the doctor or purchased medicines before.
Ren couldn’t finish what she wanted to say.
It wasn’t because she didn’t know what to say.
I could still feel her fear of me.
Perhaps it took a lot of courage for her to say this.
Suddenly, Ren resembled an abused puppy.
A puppy who is afraid of people because of abuse, but still cannot hate them.
This may look a little different to other people, but in my eyes, Ren seemed to be trying to get close to me.
When our eyes met, Ren looked away and then came back to meet mine again with hesitation.
Ren started to open up to me.
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