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Hello and happy new year! I just decided to translate a new story. Hope you’ll like it. Enjoy~

In a big castle, there was one young boy. In the castle of the enemy’s nation, his position as a hostage was freezing the look of the yet young boy. The young boy, locked up inside a gloomy room with nothing but one window for small daylight, was only given to attend to his needs, a very young servant girl who was shabby, always putting on a grey hood.

In the cold castle, there was one little girl. Ostracized by her family, she was shabbier than the other servants, and forced to do more work than anyone else. However, the little girl who didn't experience happiness, was living not knowing it was hard. One day, she was forced by a servant to take care of a hostage of a neighboring country——.

The young boy suddenly realized. While the room was always warm and bright by the fire in the fireplace, the hands of the little girl who arranged this, were always cold like ice. The meals served were scarce, but one day, there was more bread in the servings while the little girl servant became more and more thin.

The conversation he exchanged with her for the first time began by "Is this bread yours?". Inquiring why, to the little girl who expressionlessly nodded and naturally answered "It is because you seemed to be hungry", the young boy lost his words. He was about to yell at her learning the reason why she was doing that, but refrained from doing it, as he believed the little girl would surely just apologize expressionlessly. Therefore, without a word, the young boy let the little girl sit near the fireplace and hold half of the bread out to her. The little girl strangely looked at the bread and the young boy. The young boy ate the bread with her while being satisfied to have obtained a smile, even small, from this expressionless little girl.

The little girl suddenly realized. The kind young boy who had offered this warm spot for her like this, was sometimes staring at the window, suddenly looking sad. She was instructed to always lock the room when leaving it, and to always carry the key in her hand. The little girl who was working until late hours knew the guards were shorthanded in the backyard at night. Therefore, the little girl took the young boy out. As things were, if the young boy were to escape, she would most likely receive from the head maid a harsh punishment to the extent of dying. Such a though passed through her mind, but even so, she supposed it would be fine. She only wanted the young boy to smile for some reason.

On a chilly night when the moon shined bright, the young boy, who was taken out by the little girl, breathed the air from outside for the first time in a while. Even if the air was cold, it didn't matter at all. After such a long time, the wide sky, the sound of the wind, the scent of the grass brought by the wind——— everything made the young boy's chest warm. The young boy who was looking at the sky for a while, suddenly noticed a flower at his feet. He plucked the flower with lovely small petals and faced from below the little girl standing still.

"Thank you"

Holding out the flower, the little girl, after opening wide her small eyes, made a clumsy smile. With this clumsy yet angelic smile which was transmitting her happiness, like that, he understood this child was not expressionless, she simply didn't experience emotions. Thinking that he was probably the first to see the smile of the little girl, he felt very proud. The young boy stared at the little girl without noticing he was smiling too.

************************************

On a freezing winter day, the young boy and the little girl cuddled close together trying to warm up as much as possible with a small lamp. The environment around the two people was cold like a deep winter night, yet the two people were smiling. While having a small lamp in their chest.

Until the young boy goes back to his country, always————.

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