"Bye, Uwyn!" Maru said to his sister.
"Take care, brother!" Uwyn said in response to her brother. Maru went to walk for 30 minutes to arrive in the city. They could not afford to live inside because the city requires tax for the inhabitants within its walls. This was not to say that there aren't slums in the city, there was.
The poor also have to pay protection money to the government. Their family had a humble house in the slums before but because they could not afford to pay the monthly tax anymore, they had to go outside the city to build their home. Maru did not go to the entrance of the city.
He doesn't have money for the entrance fee. Even he had, the guards of the gates would have never allowed him to enter after seeing his dirty torn clothes. He went to the sewers to get access inside the city. It stinks but Maru had been used to it already during the year that he had passed by this passage.
After he got by the sewers' puzzling twists and turns, he exited to see the slums welcome his view. He ducked low to avoid being caught out by the people of the slum. They don't like vagrants like him to increase competition in the streets.
Maru ran quickly and after 20 minutes of navigating the slums, he finally reached his destination. The market. This was heaven for people like him. There were people all around. There were rich people who wore glamorous clothes and there were also people with clean servant's clothes.
These were his target. He would not approach a rich person here in the market. Most if not all, would go angry when he approached. Some would even use violence upon him. There was one time that he had been hit by a baton of a rich woman's bodyguard.
Maru would never forget that because his hand was swollen for almost a month after that incident. He approached a young lady in servant's clothing.
"Could you spare a penny for me, miss? My mother is sick. I need money to feed her and my sister." Maru said to the yound lady. This marked the start of his long toil inside the city of Kaphia.
Nine hours quickly passed for Maru. He had been able to get 15 pennies as his harvest for the day.
"Hmmm. It was a good day for me. I could buy fifteen breads for this or 2 kilos of rice. I should buy the rice. That would last us five days if I don't eat too much." Maru thought. He had already been used to eating little. Most of the food was given to his sister and mother.
He was ready for any sacrifice for his family. Maru loved both of them. The rich kids his age would still be too young and immature to act like Maru does. That was because their situation was a difference between worlds. Hardship forces a child like Maru to grow up fast.
He had to adapt in order to live, for him and his family. Even if he was still a baby himself.
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