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Today is Alice's day to go to the temple.
The landlord’s wife allowed her not to do housework. She also sent her maid, Glizi, to help her take care of her dresses. According to the landlord’s wife, this is a major event that happens only once in a lifetime. Even a girl without parents should have someone. Help take care of it, otherwise it would be too pitiful.
The maid, Grizzy, is very mean. She always picks faults when she instructs Alice in her work, and always calls her for help during breaks. If Alice really wants to choose, she would rather prepare it herself. But Grizzly's attitude was not bad this time, not as annoying as usual. She even came a while earlier than the scheduled time to fix Alice's hair and smooth the wrinkles on the back of her dress.
"Everything will be fine." Grizzly's tone can even be called gentle, which is very different from her usual performance. "Working here for a few more years, you will become a qualified maid. At that time, Your wife will help you introduce a young and promising marriage partner. With the study and training here, you will be able to become a qualified housewife by then, just like me and Malena."
Malena was the last maid of the landlord's wife. She was beautiful and laughed. She married the court clerk. She is also a girl from this dark river street, and she is indeed quite lucky to find such a relationship. However, Glitz’s husband was just a buddy in the cloth shop, so that after she got married, she had to continue to work as a maid to subsidize the family. Nevertheless, from the tone of Grizzly's speech, it is obvious that she is very proud of her achievements.
Well, considering that Grizzly has a bad temper and looks ugly, it's pretty good that she can marry a guy in a cloth shop.
Grizzie didn’t know what Alice was thinking. She arranged the bow knot on the back of her skirt for Alice, then pressed her in front of the mirror, adjusted her tied hair a little by hand, looked at her craft, and said with satisfaction Concluding remarks:
"You are also a pretty girl. In short, with Fogna's blessing, you will be happy."
Grizzly probably wished her sincerely, but lovely Lisi felt ridiculous when she heard these words.
If Fogna's blessing is useful, she won't fall here.
Fogna is the goddess in charge of family and reproduction. Most women, including Alice's mother, will choose her as their patron saint. Alice's mother made a living by washing clothes for others, and died of pneumonia six months ago. Alice is only twelve years old now. She cannot find a formal job. She can only do chores and take care of the children at the landlord’s wife in exchange for daily board and lodging. She always wondered, if Goddess Fogna could take a little bit of a picture of her pious mother's mother, she and her mother would always be in a different situation now.
Today, Alice went to the temple to participate in the ceremony of choosing the gods, or according to the general saying: "chosen by the gods". Whether it was the landlord’s wife or Grizzy, everyone thought that Alice would definitely choose Fogna, and they didn’t even ask her if she had any other ideas. But this is also normal. Girls, especially poor girls like her, don’t have much choice. Everyone thinks that a girl who is serious should choose Fergna, and only a girl under the protection of Fergna can become a girl. Good wife.
In any case, Alice had already made up her mind and would never choose Fogna to be her patron saint.
But she didn't say anything extra. Grizzie hated the kid who loves to talk back, and it's useless to argue with Grizz about these things. She just nodded.
"Time is almost here." Glee looked at the sky outside the window and said to Alice, "I'll go out with you."
According to the general habit, children who need to go to the temple at the age of twelve must stand in a fixed position at the entrance of the street in the morning and wait for the priest to receive them. The time when the priests will come is not very certain, and it may take a long time to wait. Under normal circumstances, parents will wait with their children at the entrance of the street, and sometimes add a lot of relatives, but Alice has no parents and relatives, and there are no other children on this street to go to the temple today. It would seem too pitiful to stand alone and wait.
But for Alice, being accompanied by Grizzly, she might as well wait alone.
So she politely declined Grizzly's kindness and stood alone in the street.
In Potzta, the October morning had already begun to look cold, she exhaled white breath, stomped her feet to keep warm, and looked around blankly. The sky is still very dark, and now I can't see anything. Alice could only see a little light from the back door of Master Brad's pastry shop next to her, and it seemed that the bakers were already busy.
A scent wafted from the pastry shop, and Alice swallowed. She had heard Burke, who attended the temple ceremony a few months ago, said that at the feast of the gods after the ceremony, everyone would get a piece of cake from Brad Bakery. In a house on Dark River Street, no one can afford the dim sum in this store. For Alice, this may be the only opportunity for her to eat Brad cake in her life, and she needs to cherish it.
At this moment, a ringing bell came from a distance. Alice raised her head and saw a large group of people approaching here. The headed one was tall and slender, wearing a conspicuous white robe, and her pale blonde hair gleaming in the light of the rising sun.
Except for the priests who came to take in, no one could go out so early. Alice hurried over and curtseyed to the priest, following the method she had learned from Grizzly, looking down at the corner of his robe.
"Name, age, birthday."
The priest didn't look at her, just stared at the notes in his hands and gave brief instructions. His voice was so young, which surprised Alice—she thought the priests were all old men.
She raised her head and answered the priest's question as briefly as possible:
"Alice, twelve years old, born October 17th."
Alice knew that she would definitely be asked this question, but she still flinched and said reluctantly:
"I don't have a last name."
Everyone knows that only illegitimate children do not have a surname, which is a sign of shame. Even if Alice was young, she could understand this. She convinced herself not to care about the looks of others, but this is often difficult to do.
The young priest glanced at her, his eyes calm and quiet.
He just nodded in business and recorded her information in a notebook. As he lowered his head to record, Alice saw his face clearly in the faint morning light. He is indeed very young, with delicate skin, dazzling red lips, a touch of tenderness in his eyes, and the corners of his mouth that do not contain a smile, but show a firm attitude, making his face look holy and majestic.
Alice had never seen such a person up close, which made her look a little bit stunned.
The priest finished the information and motioned Alice to stand at the end of the row with his eyes. Lovely Lisi still stood still. He coughed slightly, and she finally woke up, blushing and ran to the back.
The team continued to move forward, bypassing every block in the vicinity to the temple. Due to a sacred atmosphere, no one spoke along the way. Alice couldn't help staring at the priest's hair.
She had never seen such pale blond hair. In Alice's cognition, only the prince in the fairy tale had such a hair color. On the street where Alice lives, most people, including her own mother, have ordinary tan hair. But Alice herself has conspicuous red hair, which is incompatible with the atmosphere of the whole street. Obviously, the color of her hair was inherited from her father who had never seen her face.
About Alice's father, she knew almost that. When her mother was still alive, she never confided a word about her father to her. Only one time when he was sick, he lost his tongue and said that her father's patron saint was Ludenier. When Alice wanted to ask more, her mother closed her mouth and remained silent ever since.
Alice had secretly asked people about Ludenier, but the people who lived on Dark River Street only knew the names of gods they believed in, and didn't know much about the names of other gods. Alice secretly asked a lot. Man finally inquired out that Ludniel was the **** of the night, the protector of the magician.
Is her father a magician?
In Alice’s impression, the magician always wore a gorgeous silk robe, with his head held high, looking very arrogant. In the drugstore they opened, the potion was more expensive than gold, and even if you sold her, you couldn't afford it. It is difficult for Alice, who grew up in poverty, to imagine that her biological father is one of those magicians. Ordinary civilians are somewhat afraid of magicians. Alice is not pleased to receive this information, only unhappy:
Maybe her mother was forced to give birth to her.
But these are just her conjectures, and there is no real evidence. And during the time she inquired about Ludenier, Alice's father might be a magician, and somehow it spread out. From then on, children on the street sometimes taunted her, calling her a "red-haired witch".
The children are really hateful, if there is a female magician on this street, they would definitely not dare to call it that way. Alice understands that the most fundamental reason for being bullied is because she has no father. But when she combed her hair in the mirror, she couldn't help but think, if her hair was normal tan...or even black.
Most magicians have black hair. Children on the street can laugh at her red hair, but they may not dare to laugh at her black hair. Alice once imagined that if she had black hair, when her mother was sick, she might have the courage to go to the drugstores opened by magicians to ask for credit. In that case, her mother might not die.
There is never an end to such a thing. Alice forced herself to focus on the upcoming ceremony. She didn't want to choose Fogna as her patron saint, but she didn't know who to choose. She knows very little about the gods, only knowing that this choice will have a great impact on her future career. She couldn't ask others about questions like this, because adults would let her choose Fogna directly, and most children would only choose the same patron saint as their parents, and their opinions were of no reference value.
Alice thought about this as she walked, not feeling tired. At this time they finally reached the side entrance of the temple. At this time, the priest who brought them let all the children who were preparing to participate in the ceremony sit on the benches in the porch to rest, and ordered the guards at the side entrance to look after them for a while, and walked into the temple alone. temple.