Editors: sleepchaser, ASplashofMusic
I don’t even know where I should start explaining.
What just happened is too terrible. I don’t feel like recounting it in detail to someone I just met.
As I’m thinking of a way to naturally deflect her question, the lady staring at me flashes a troubled smile before shaking her head.
“It’s okay. You don’t have to force yourself to talk. Did you run through the cold rain to get here?You seem to be injured too… Can you wait for a while? I’ll call a doctor immediately. No, maybe it’ll be faster to bring you to them. Ah, but can you walk? If it’s hard on you, I can call a carriage─”
“N-no! It’s okay! I’m not injured to the point where I’ll need a… doctor.”
“Is that so? Are you sure?”
She keeps asking me this question, to which I respond by nodding continuously.
Though it doesn’t stop her from watching me, eyes full of worry. I can’t calm down, looking toward the ground to avoid her gaze.
Then, as I look down, I catch a glimpse of my appearance.
I finally understand why she’s so worried about me.
Even though I was frightened to death, I should’ve fixed my clothes as much as I could before entering the store.
My shirt is torn apart, exposing my torso, and my pants are half-open. How embarrassing.
Dark red imprints cover my wrists. Not only am I soaking wet and dirty, there are many scratches all over my body from shaking off the hotel staff.
What a terrible appearance.
Anyone can guess what happened just by looking at me.
What happened? Who did you run away from?
I immediately adjust the front of my wet shirt.
“If you need something, please tell me at once, okay?” says the landlady, gently patting my shoulder. She must think someone sexually assaulted me. While she isn’t wrong, the situation didn’t progress as far as she assumed.
I want to correct her, but just the thought of voicing it gives me the urge to run away. Instead, I keep silent and nod in reply.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“Alright then… You can use the second room from the back on the second floor. It should be empty today. Wait, let me bring you some clothes. It’s my husband’s, so it might be too big to you, but please bear with it.”
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“K-atjcx sbe nfgs wemt.”
I try to accept the things she hands to me but almost drop them due to my trembling arms. I feel so useless. I can’t even hold things properly.
Beside me, Alfred extends one hand and takes them all.
I thank him and he nods, eyebrows still furrowed.
He stays silent the whole time, seemingly in a bad mood. He must be annoyed at me for disturbing him at the busiest time of his shift.
“It’s fine,” he promptly replies, before sinking into silence once again.
Definitely in a bad mood.
“Don’t overdo it. Just let Al bring it for you. You sure you’re fine with just this?” asks the landlady once more.
I shake my head.
This is enough.
“Is that so? Well my offer still stands if you require anything.” says the landlady. “Really, who would do such a thing?”
Again, I lower my gaze until all that I can see are my feet.
It’s not something I can freely talk to anyone even if I feel like it.
Since the culprit is the captain of the Royal Palace Knights, not being mindful of the impact of my words will only cause trouble. To myself, my family, and everyone else. Even I understand that.
At my flustered state, the landlady waves her hand. “Ah, it’s okay. No need to talk about it right away. We can talk when you’re calmer. Okay?”
A worried smile on her lips, she strokes my head with her warm and plump hand.
Ughh, her gentleness isn’t what I’m hoping for. Now I feel even more pathetic.
How shameful. I’m a man! What am I getting weak for? Get a hold of yourself!
“I’m sorry, Ma’am. Please excuse me from tonight’s shift. I’ll fulfill it tomorrow.”
“It’s okay. You’ve always been diligent at work anyway. Rather than that… Look after that kid. Ah! Wait a minute.”
The landlady makes another little run to the kitchen, and returns with two bottles in her hands. Each a shade of orange.
“For you. You must be thirsty from running, right? Drink it. It’s fruit juice, sweet and delicious.”
Ahh. Her kindness brings tears to my eyes.
Suppressing the sobs threatening to escape my throat, I reach out to grab the bottles. But Alfred quickly takes them away to help me carry them as well.
“T-thank you very much…”
The landlady nods in reply with a smile on her face. Turning toward the kitchen, I find the master also with a smile on his face, still swinging his frying pan. I thank him as well.
Alfred lifts me up before we even leave the kitchen.
He climbs the stairs beside the wall while carrying me with one hand, the other carrying the things I was given. Am I that light? No, certainly not! It’s this guy’s strength that’s strange.
On one side of the second floor corridor are windows. The other side is lined with doors, five to be exact.
“There’s… so many rooms.”
“Yeah. The second and third floors are available for rent.”
So this place functions as both a pub and an inn.
Despite the fact that both of Alfred’s hands were preoccupied, he still manages to unlock the door.
The moment the door is open, a draft escapes from the room.
“Sorry. Since this is a cheap inn, there’s no heating. But at least there’s a bathroom, even if the room is small. The toilet’s outside, just by the end of the corridor. Wait here. Let me bring some hot water from downstairs.”
Once Alfred puts me down, he wraps a few of the bath towels in his arms around my head and body until no skin is showing.
He then lights the oil lamp. He sets down the rest of the things the landlady gave on the same desk before leaving the room.
The room becomes quiet.
In a blink of an eye, relief and exhaustion crashes into me, and I fall flat on the cold floor.
Head spinning, I look around the room.
The room is narrow, with a small desk and chair. Placed against the wall is a single bed, fit for one person only.
There is another door on the wall to the right. Seems to lead to a smaller room. From what I can see through the gap between the door and the frame, it’s probably the bathroom.
Even though this space is quite small, it gives off a feeling of warmth. The faint woody scent is also somewhat calming. But to be honest, the room is only considered narrow by western standards. It’s still far larger than the rooms in cheap Japanese inns.
As I blankly stare at the warm orange lamp, listening to the laughter and singing coming from downstairs, slowly but surely do I regain a sense of calm.
I like the sound of others’ activities. Gentle, and makes me feel connected to everyone.
It gives me the illusion that I’m not alone.
As I’m still dazed, Alfred returns to the room with a large barrel filled with hot water, and prepares for my bath. As usual, his strength is phenomenal.
A while later, Alfred approaches my side and grabs my arm. “The bath is ready. Come on.”
His touch is so sudden that it causes me to let out a strange noise. Shivers run down the arm in Alfred’s hold.
Ever since my escape from the hotel, my body has ran unpleasantly hot.
Especially, at the lower half of my body.
Special thanks to Anon-san, FrostyMoka-san, and MsLori-san for the ko-fi! (♡ω♡ ) ~♪
Heh, hehehehehehe~ ¯\_( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)_/¯
Little theater (?)
Alfred: *bad mood*
Lian: Alfred should be angry because I disturbed his work… (〒﹏〒)
Alfred: Who dare touch my wivey, I will kill them! *stares silently at a set of kitchen knifes* ( •_• )
Lian: He is so quiet too, as I thought, he is really angry! (゜o゜;
Alfred: There’s even bruises on wivey’s hand, not just kill but need to torture them to death! *stares quietly at a box of kitchen salts* ಠ_ಠ
Lian: Uu, everyone is so nice to me (╯︵╰,)
Alfred: WIVEY IS CRYING KILL KILL KILL KI- ಠ益ಠ