Chapter 8

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After having promised, Emily somewhere quickly went away, leaving me and Misery behind.
The morning complicated atmosphere has subsided and the village has regained its calmness.
Well, then, shall I go catch someone?
That’s what I thought, but the village became somewhat deserted.
I think that humans would get worn out from doing so much work.
Is that it?
Only the elderly and children are now left in the village.
Just now, a gang of three children passed by me.
Well, I thought it wouldn’t be bad to play with children, this time, “Hey, hey” so I called to them.
But, the most naughty looking boy glared at me and threw something my way.
I recall stones being thrown at me yesterday.
I was greatly perplexed, but once it hit my skull, I noticed that it was a small nut.
I pick it up and look at it dumbfoundedly.
Then, the children throw a similar nut again and run away.
Geez, what is this?
I look at Misery.

“Did the nuts hit you?”

She shakes her head.
Did they throw so they would hit this child?

“Say, are those children Misery’s friends?”

When I asked, Misery just stared at me, without nodding her head.

I stroll around the village aimlessly.
Misery didn’t let go of my hand as usual.
It’s much better than walking alone.
Even though we don’t talk, the atmosphere isn’t strange.
I thought it was very natural to have her next to me.
Therefore, I just leave it as it is.
However, when the sun was at its highest, Misery’s stomach let out a tiny sound.
I stop in place and look at Misery.

“Are you hungry? Do you want to return home to eat?”

After thinking for a while, Misery starts walking while pulling my hand.
She took me to a small house on the edge of the village.
She lets go of my hand and opens the door of the house with both of her hands.
Then, she grasps my hand again and pulls me inside the house.
There are no signs of people in the house.
I was greeted by only a dirt floor.
I catch sight of wooden pillars, stone walls, a furnace, and a pan hanging on the wall.
The furnace is covered by dust.
There were three chairs around the table.
Misery sits me on one of those chairs and runs to the cabinet.
She takes bread from there with both hands, puts in on the table and sits next to me.
She divides the not so big bread in half and presents me with one.
I tore off a piece of the bread and threw it into my mouth.
The swallowed bread falls from under my chin without chewing thanks to gravity.
I caught it with my other hand which I held in my rib cage.

“As you can see, I can’t eat. Please eat it all.”

Misery looked at me with her round eyes without moving for a while, then she burst out in a laugh.
I wonder what was so funny?
She tears a small piece of bread with her fingers and throws it to my bony mouth.
I caught it the same way as a little while ago, but this time, I carried diligently right into her mouth.
It continued until the whole bread has disappeared.
We played in the house after that.
It seems she’s fond of dangling from my ribs.
She hangs from my body and swings without falling.
But, before long, my ribs made a light sound, she got scared and stopped.
A short time later, Misery dozed off so I carried her to the bed.
The afternoon quickly passed.
Sunlight of setting sun came through the small window.

“You are late.”

Emily blames me for being late, but I don’t retort.
I have come to the stream near the village as promised.

“Where did you go?”

Because the tone she said that in was awfully gentle, I obediently talked about today.

“You have looked after that child, huh? Thank you.”
“Wrong, wrong. We just played together.”

Emily sighs.

“I was worried so I occasionally passed by you.”
“Eh, I didn’t notice at all.”
“Because I didn’t want you to notice.”

Slightly downside eyes face slightly covered by freckles, her red hair seems to be slightly sparkling in the sunlight.

“Just how much do you know about that girl?”

She didn’t look at me. She muttered while looking at the sunlight reflected in the stream.

“I don’t know much. By the state of her house, she probably doesn’t have a family?”
“What else?”
“Also, the bandage on her head, that, that’s not a fashion, right?”
“Did you ask someone?”
“Ah well, today, I was able to talk only with you. Because it seems like that girl can’t talk.”

Is that so? Emily said.

“That girl, she has lost both her parents when she was three. Because she doesn’t have any other relatives, she’s being looked after by the villagers.”
“Hou hou.”
“Well, you may think it’s just a common story. But, it’s not. Did it happen about half a year ago? That girl, she almost died.”
“The injury on her head?”
“Yes. She fell down on her head from a slightly high cliff. It was a severe injury with lots of blood. I was the first one who saw her falling.”
“The fact she’s still wearing the bandages, does it mean she’s not recovered yet?”
“No, the wound is closed. But, the scar is still standing out.”
“I see~”

I turn my eyes (at least I think I do) towards Emily.

“So, what do you want me to do?”

Right to the business, huh. Emily sighs.

“I thought if you wouldn’t take care of that child.”
“It’s a child, you know? Do you understand how hard it will be?”

She looks at me with a surprised expression.

“I have nothing else to do anyway.”

Emily sighs longly.

“I see. But, as expected you won’t do it for free, right?”
“Umm, in that case……”

When I tell her I would like to sometimes talk with her, she laughed out in amazement.

“You have no greed, huh.”
“We are of equal status in this regard. But, why do you treat Misery so kindly?”

She said that Misery doesn’t have any relatives.
Emily should be a complete stranger.
Emily looks at me in wonder and says.

“Do you need a reason to treat other people kindly?”

She says so and laughs.

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