The Silvermore town was divided into streets that were named and divided by numbers. Those that lived in the top ten streets were either the richest guides, merchants, adventurers or the people of the citys Mayor.

He was a man with a very faint presence. If it wasn something our parents had kept reminding us of, we wouldn even have known our little sanctuary had a leader responsible for our safety.

Those that lived in the 11th Street to the 20th Street were nouveau riche or people with inheritance and history.

The streets beyond 21st Street were newly established and had fairly similar conditions, which were just average.

A question that first-time visitors often ask the guides when they witness the planned town structure is: Are there any slums or places for the poor and the destitute?

That is because those places usually exist in even huge capital cities but the town of Silvermore had no such place.

Its not like no one was poor, its just that most of the people were supportive enough to give them a clean place to live, and monthly rations were assigned to them from the mayors courtyard if they were really found to be in pitiful conditions.

I guess this was the benefit of it being a comparatively small town, there was still a community that ensured that corruption and crime didn degrade the society.

This community, however, was also home to a lot of eccentric rituals and superstitions that youll keep hearing about later.

Our house was the fifth house on 27th Street. It wasn big, it wasn small, in every sense of the word, it was… average, and I was satisfied with it.

Other than my father who was almost always out, there lived my mother who was always simultaneously out and in since she would just keep chatting with my aunts around from the neighborhood while leaning on the gate.

I still wonder sometimes how she was never out of topics or things to talk about. In a way, it was definitely amazing of her to be able to do that.

She was a housewife and so her job was mostly just taking care of us. Her individual passions and aspirations were inextricably linked to us.

And by us, I mean me and my siblings. I have an older brother and a younger sister. My sister has been attached to me from a very young age. As far as I can remember, her cheerful tone and her spirited gestures have always been a part of my life.

Even after all these years, its one of the things I miss the most. My older brother, however, was one of a kind. As a complete loner, he remained holed up in a forgotten corner of the house like a spider or a cockroach. Only when it was time to eat dinner together with the family would he crawl out.

Ive mentioned earlier that our mayor has a very faint presence but compared to my brother, hes like a blazing sun in the night sky. There were times when I passed by my brother standing at the door to search for him outside. Oh, those embarrassing moments.

Other than my father, none of us could force words out of his mouth. Now that I look back at all this, perhaps, our family really was a cluster of oddballs that somehow lived under the same roof.

Our conversations at the dinner table are also one of the things that I keep missing every now and then.

After returning home from work, my father would lie down on the bed for 5 minutes to relax and then call my brother to force the words out of his mouth.

My brother would then reply with curt and precise answers and my father would then pat his head with a satisfied smile. When the dinner began, one way or the other, my father would then bring up a topic that would bring the atmosphere to an awkward pause.

After that, there would be a spirited argument between my parents while my little sister would keep supporting either one or the other, which would only fuel their argument further.

Those arguments ranged from a lot of topics, ranging from the distribution of grain amongst the poor to the recent trade policies of the merchants and the kinds of people passing by the town.

We called our father, papa, in an endearing way, ahem, it was mostly just me because my sister would mostly talk to him like a friend and my brother… I don even remember what he called him, wait, I don even remember the sound of his voice. He was definitely… special.

Anyway, I still liked my brother. After all, the brothers that Ive heard of from my neighbors, friends, and books were mostly annoying presences that kept disturbing their sisters one way or the other.

This guy, however, would do anything that I asked of him as long as I left him alone and I used that point very well when I was young.

Whenever I asked him to buy me books that we both liked to read, which for him, I believe was a necessity since he would have nothing else to do but stare at the bland walls and the movements of idle lizards on them if he didn have anything to read, he would buy books from his own allowance and I was able to enjoy those books second-hand for free. Sometimes, he even brought books that I asked for from his allowance.

Where else can one find such a perfect brother?

Those books and the conversations on the dinner table were the major sources of information that I received that allowed me to form my beliefs and principles and develop my character.

My mother was a conversation addict. My little sister was clingy. My older brother was a recluse and I… was a mix of all of them.

One thing I didn have was the control of the situation and the aura of dependence that my father had.

With how we were, our family was bound to fall apart if it weren for the presence of my father. His love and care were a string that bound us like a thread and his loving… absence was the axis of our family.

It was a normal time. The days were normal. The people were… slightly normal. The town was also… slightly normal but it was a beautiful time. Too bad I couldn appreciate it enough.

But then again, how many are able to appreciate the seemingly normal treasures they keep beside them or within them at all times?

As the novelty and emotions fade away, we start taking people, and their love, and all thats beautiful and makes it worthwhile, for granted. We act as if deserve and we would always have it, never knowing all of that can be stripped from us in the blink of an eye…

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