Ascendance of a Bookworm Chapter 104: I Need Wilma’s Help (1)
Proofread by Ruriko
[Note: Previous chapters are available at: http://infinitenoveltranslations.net/teasers/ascendance-of-a-bookworm/]
Well, the problem that Lutz had few conversations with his families was somehow settled. Besides, while the gap between the brothers still exists, Lutz became a Dapla [namely one who signs a contract with a shop and is cultivated as a manager of the shop] and the income is raised. This seems to make the situation more complicated.
However, Lutz has been reconciled with his parents, and his parents come to understand the necessity of discussion, so it will be somehow manageable in their future life. I am happy to see Lutz’s living environment improved.
After settling the problem of Lutz, I’m worried about my mother’s health. She turns pale these days, so I suspect that she has been affected by my bad condition. Mother still goes to work and does housework normally, but she sleeps more than before.
This morning, mother looks so pale and totters wearily. Father is not home. Possibly he went to work before I get up. I don’t know what to do if my mother fells down suddenly.
“Mom, how do you feel? Are you okay?” seeing her not eating right now, I ask.
She thinks for a while, and then say, “I said I’m ok, right?”
” Mom, are you having a baby? I will become an elder sister, right?”
Her pregnancy is proved. I am surprised, and look at her belly, though it is as flat as usual.
… Mother is suffering morning sickness.
When I was still Urano Motosu, I didn’t have any love experience, let alone such things as pregnancy experience. I don’t have any related memory, so this is my first time to see an expectant mother.
… No! I didn’t read any book related to pregnancy as it is completely unrelated to me. Ha ha! For now, at the time of suffering morning sickness, she should have a good rest, proper nourishment, moderate exercise… What should I do?
I was the only child when I was Urano Motosu. I have never been an elder sister. Although I wished to be a wonderful elder sister, could I be able to do it, to be an elder sister, like Tuuli?
While I am in a daze with expectations and anxieties, Tuuli cheers full of joy.
“Really?! Oh! I will make clothes and diapers for the baby!”
Tuuli’s prompt action to collect the stuff for the baby makes me hurry to consider what I could do for the baby.
“Well, I … uh, uh …”
What can I give when the baby is born? The first thing comes to my mind is the one that does not exist in this house. It’s the one that I’ve been seeking for since I came here.
“I’ll make a picture book for the baby!”
“… A picture book? What is it?”
Both Tuuli and my mother ask.
“A book with pictures! I will make a book for children to read!”
Hearing my explanation, Tuuli, with her eyes wide open, bursts into laugher.
“Hahahaha, it’s just like what you will do.”
“Since you do so much for the baby, it’s enough to prove that you will be a good sister, too.”
Though I don’t know whether it’s a brother or sister, it must be very cute. If Tuuli makes clothes with sewing skills that she learned at work, I’m going to make educational toys for my younger brother or sister.
“… I will do my best for the baby. I will be a really good sister!”
Hearing my decision, they stop laughing and turn into troubled faces, disapprovingly.
“Maine, you would have a fever if you worked too hard, so please relax.”
“Yeah. I am out of condition, so you have to take care of yourself,” mom said to me.
“… Well, I will try.”
Although I make a thankful reply, all in my mind is how to make the picture book.
What kind of books will a baby like? In my previous life, I often read the picture books listed in the bulletins of my city. Of course, those books are best-sellers. There are pages to show or hide faces alternately, by which children can play peekaboo games.
…… But how to explain peekaboo in this world?
The way to soothe a baby by hiding and showing the face in the world, so I think here is the same. However, I don’t know what people in this world say to babies when they perform this. Then, how to ask this question is a problem.
… An idea comes to me: make one of mother’s bedtime stories into a picture book.
“Good morning, Lutz. Today I will go to the temple after visiting the store,” I said to Lutz with a stuffy nose.
When Lutz saw me humming to greet him, he takes one step back as if he saw something eerie.
“Good, but how are you doing? You are in bad condition, but in high spirits.”
“Ufu … Yeah, see, I’m going to be a sister,” I sneezed
“Maine, get your luggage fast.”
Kneading her temples, mother hurries me, when I am walking to the bedroom. Then she begins to tell Lutz why she is in this state.
“Lutz, excuse me. She must be too glad that she is going to be an elder sister. This girl, I’m afraid she is a bit overexcited. Maybe it’s better for her not to go out today …”
“Not only today… I think she will keep excited until the day when Aunt Elfa gives birth. … Maine resembles Uncle Gunther very much, doesn’t she?”
“Yes, in merriment, they do have a strong resemblance.”
Though she frowns, mother still laughs happily.
“Just a minute, Lutz. Well, mom, I’m going. I know I should behave myself, even when I’m unhappy, just like what mom has done. I will work hard to make money for you from now on. Bye!”
“Maine, it’s what your dad said this morning.”
While mother is laughing, I set off. First, I will go to the Gilberta Company, to tell them I’ll become an elder sister, and then order some cardboard for the orphanage.
On my way, I’m talking with Lutz about the picture book plan.
“Well, because Tuuli said she would sew clothes and diapers for the baby, I decided to make a “picture book’.”
“It’s a book with pictures, easy for children to read,” I explain proudly.
Lutz shakes his head lightly and says with a sigh, “… Yeah, but how can a new-born baby read? ”
“Reading is very important! I read a lot. If you want to make a picture book, you need thick paper first, right? Because babies can chew anything they have. How about the thinner cardboard, or a cloth? But I haven’t seen any proper materials here, so maybe I don’t have a chance to make a picture book, do I? Lutz, what should I do? ”
I turn around at Lutz, but he looks bewildered.
“What to do … uh …”
“Don’t you feel really sad if you have no chance to do what you want? Look, it’s easy for a baby to tear and chew a picture book made of paper. And what will happen if it chews the paper with ink? Oh no! That’s too dangerous!”
The image comes into my mind: a baby is biting a book, and the ink smears his mouth. When I am holding my head, Lutz shakes my shoulders, and sighs,
“Maine, take it easy. The baby will be born in next spring, right? You needn’t be so hurry.”
“But I want to make a prototype, then improve and improve, and make it perfect!”
“Haste does not bring success. You may be exhausted before you finish it. So calm down and think about others’ opinions, ok?”
While Lutz is exhorting me, we arrive at a Benno’s shop. Mark is working hard there as usual.
“Hi, Mark, where is Mr. Benno? I want to re-order the cardboard from that Zeek’s woodwork workshop.”
“Ok, we accept it here. You look so good, Maine,” Mark says, taking out the order notes.
I can feel that I’m in high spirit as soon as I hear his words.
“Sneeze… Mark, please listen. I’m going to be an elder sister. So I’m will make books, cards, blocks, etc. for the baby. I’ll be very busy from this day forward.”
“Ho, a book for the baby? So, you are going to tell master that you will be an elder sister soon, right?”
Mark smiles and shows me to the back room while saying so. I rush to Mr. Benno and tell him.
“Mr. Benno, good morning. I will be an elder sister in spring. So I decide to make a picture book.”
“Ah? … Lutz, can you explain the situation?”
Benno, who lifts his eyes, says not to me, but to Lutz.
“Maine’s mother is pregnant and the baby will be born in spring. Maine wants to do something unique for the baby. She is working hard to make a book with lots of pictures.”
“A book for children? Babies can’t read, can they?”
Benno and Lutz ask the same question. A picture book can perfect link parents and children. Children can enjoy it just by looking at the picture. Besides, though it is possible for children to get familiar with the letters, no one here knows this.
“Reading is very important! And children can become familiar with letters since they are babies.”
“Oh … maybe Corinna will also celebrate it. Who paints the picture?”
“Of course, I’ll draw the pictures with love.”
It is my first chance to make a present for my younger brother or sister. So I decide to make it by myself. As I just finish my words, Mr. Benno denies:
“No, you can ask the artist for help. Children’s aesthetic sense is different.”
“It’s an awful idea!”
“It’s not awful. It’s a good suggestion.”
Mr. Benno insists that I should invite Wilma as the painter, as if my sister’s love is denied. I go to the temple sullenly.
“Well, Maine. If you’re going to make a picture book from now on, it’s better to have the painter. You haven’t finish one book, have you?”
“No, not yet.”
However, if I go to ask Wilma to help me make a picture book, it may be better to assist her from my side.
“Good morning, Miss Maine. How are things with you?”
“Good morning, Fran. I’m going to be an elder sister…”
“Wait a minute, Maine. I tell you first.”
Lutz interrupts me, and tells Fran that I can fall anytime since I get overexcited now, along with the cause of excitement.
“If she gets too excited, she may have a fever. Once this happens, she could not calm down. So then you should keep her alone carefully.”
“… I see. ”
While I am heading to my room, Fran warns me, “It’s better not to tell Delia.”
“Recently, the chief of the temple has not taken any action, but surely he is collecting information. If you can be so easily excited, pregnant women and babies may be considered major weaknesses. Please be careful.”