Iirin receives a visitor that will change his life forever.
On the Moonsday morning that changed Iirin’s life, the kitchen that fed the temple-orphanage’s dozens of inhabitants was empty. The lack of noise and of the usual clattering noises of chaos from the staff should have been an omen to Iirin, a sign that everything as he knew it was soon to change.
Instead, Iirin was busy making breakfast for almost three dozen hungry little demons because the temple-orphanage’s half a dozen cooks and assistants were nowhere to be found and as always, Iirin had been left in the dark about everything beyond what time Matron wanted him to be at work in the kitchens.
Halfway through preparing the weak rice porridge for the littlest ones who were still teething, the doors that connected the kitchen to the dining room flew open with a bang that made Iirin flinch and nearly drop his ladle into the bubbling porridge.
“I knew I’d find you in here,” Matron said, her voice a taunt that never failed to make Iirin’s jaw clench. She spat the words out as if she was accusing Iirin of some horrible deed rather than yelling at him for doing the very task that she’d told him he was responsible for only the night before.
Iirin never stopped stirring the porridge, only half-turning so that he could look at Matron’s livid face and the twin pinpricks of red that brightened her cheeks.
“Matron,” Iirin said, dipping his head in a shallow show of respect that the demon in front of him had never once tried to earn. “What is it that I’m being accused of this time?”Read More »