Chapter 182 – Girl and picture book – Part one
“Lerunda, we can now make paper to a certain extent, so there is something I want to talk to you about…”
As I think about having lunch, Miss Lan comes to me with a glitter in her eyes.
She looks excited, probably because she just came up with something new.
She always gets really excited about the things she likes.
She’s been like this since the day we met.
She also looks pretty the same.
It’s obvious because she’s an adult, but she’s less taller than me than she was before.
It feels weird.
I understand that I’m growing up, but I still can’t imagine myself as an adult.
Also, for once, Mister Ilma isn’t here.
Miss Shehan told him he would be nothing more than a stalker if he just followed me around all the time, so he’s doing something else.
…He said he wanted to make the place where I pray, the place people call Lerunda’s altar, into a bigger building, but I said no.
I wouldn’t be able to relax in a place like that.
When I said no, he said he was going to build something different, like a church… I wonder how that will turn out, but if it becomes something weird, I’m sure Mister Dongu and the others will stop him.
“Yes, I want to make a picture book.”
I want to introduce stories for children that are easy for them to understand.
First, I want to make a picture book about the miko, you.”
I’m sure you feel conflicted about the idea of putting you in a book, but I feel like it will be good in the long run.”
“This village is going to continue growing.
There may even come a day where we start calling it a city, or a country, and I look forward to that future.
I think having a picture book about the miko will make things easier.
You decided to live as the miko, and not hide the fact that you are the miko, so I think there is a need to make sure you are recognized as the miko.
This may be a little difficult for you to understand, but it is a kind of information control.”
Miss Lan always talks to me about things that are related to me, even if it’s hard to understand.
She never does things behind my back, and always considers my feelings.
She says this would be good for when our village gets bigger.
She put together a book with information about me and made copies, but it doesn’t look like a lot of people are interested in just reading facts about me.
Because of this, Miss Lan wants to make it in the form of a picture book.
“It will be aimed towards children, so it will be easy to read, meaning it will also be good for people that have trouble reading in general.
I’m sure that as more people come to the village, there are going to be more people that cannot read at all, so a picture book also makes it easier for it to be read to them.
We don’t have this problem now, but as our population grows, we can’t be sure that there won’t be people that want to harm you.
The miko is a special being, but that also makes it more likely that people will target you.
I want to make this picture book in a way that makes people see how important you are, as well as making them feel you are important.
Maybe there will be people that still want to cause you harm, but… I think having something that serves as an impetus for people to see you as an important person is going to lower the number of people who would put their hands on you.”
Miss Lan is saying this because she’s worried about me.
I understand this, and it feels warm inside.
“Lan really cares about you.
I think this political move of hers is a good idea.
I’ll protect you too, but there may be a time when I’m not enough.”
Says Freinet, who was quietly listening this whole time.
She’s not showing herself, so Miss Lan can’t see or hear her.
“So… I want to talk to you about the contents of this picture book.
Is that alright I want to use you as a model to make something nice.
A story that everyone living here will read and love someday…!”
Miss Lan is filled with motivation.
It’s a little embarrassing to think about a story being written about me and read by a lot of people, but Miss Lan is doing this for my sake, because I decided to live as the miko, so I say yes.
— Girl and picture book – Part one
(The miko says yes to the educator’s suggestion, and they start talking about the production of the picture book.)