I slowly open my tired eyelids and woke up to an unfamiliar ceiling.
“W..where is this?”
I mutter in surprise, as I slowly start to get up from the semi-hard bed. My muscles were aching, and my head was splitting for a moment, but because of my resistances that I bought during the time I was jailed, <<Abnormal Status Resistance>>, and <<Pain Resistance>>, the pain quickly went away. Quite convenient indeed.
Anyhow, I had to find out where I was exactly.
I look around the room where I was sleeping in, and notice that there was a window right across the room. It wasn’t made of glass, but were just two wooden boards stuck to each side to keep the night breeze from entering.
It was opened, so someone had come in earlier, before I woke up, and opened it.
The room itself wasn’t that eye-catching. If I had to take one word to describe it, it would be simple. The bed I was sitting on was covered with a brown pelt-like fur blanket, and a pillow filled with hay. The frame supporting it was made out of wood of course, but the quality is miles away from the modern design.
Even though I was complaining like this, the room was after all, better than the prison cell I stayed in. Oh yes, way better, that was a jail you know?
Just like what you’d expect from a fantasy world. The civilization level was still undeveloped during medieval times. At least, that’s what I gather from observing the room with only a chair, a shelf, a window, and a bed.
There wasn’t even a mirror or a bathroom to check my appearance. Oh wait, what’s that?
On the chair beside the bed, there was a wooden bucket. When I stood up to take a closer look, the bucket seemed to have been filled with water. I scoop up a handful of water from it with both palms, and splash it over my face.
After doing this for a few more times, my eyes don’t feel heavy anymore. So, I tried to look at my reflection in the water. It seemed that my hair color was back to normal.
But, there was a big problem.
My irises, they were red.
Like the color of blood, a bright shade of rose-red. How did this happen?
Ah, so this was the effect of that new skill, <<Dragon Eyes>>? What is this, I wasn’t informed about this at all. It’s like I was wearing colored contacts.
Wait, since it was a skill, couldn’t I control how I want my irises to look?
I hurriedly invoked <<Dragon Eyes>> and imagined my normal eye color. Hoping for the best, I closed my eyes for a good few seconds.
When I opened them to check, it seems that it was a success. My eyes had turned back to its old dark, nostalgic color. Although, I have to be careful. After all, I don’t know whether it will randomly change colors every day from now on.
As I was being relieved about my sudden eye color problem, the door to my right suddenly flew open. The sound of creaking from the hinges startled me. Mainly because I didn’t bother to use my mapping skill in advance, and my <<Intuition>> skill didn’t warn me of any danger.
I’ve really started to depend too much on my skills for the past few days. I might become a useless person at this rate. But it couldn’t be helped, I was originally an average guy.
When I looked towards the person at the door, I was surprised to see..
A little girl. She looked as if she was in grade school. Her features included brown forelocks, she had slightly tanned skin, and freckles on her cheeks.
If you told me she was a foreigner’s daughter, i would believe it. Sadly, this wasn’t Earth. So I can conclude that she must have been the daughter of the one who found me.
I finally remembered that I had collapsed last night due to exerting too much effort, or maybe it was because I ran out of mana. After all, no matter how absurd my mana pool was, I didn’t know how to use it that well.
“Huh, You’re awake onii-san?”
When she tilted her head sideways, showing an innocent expression while asking me a question, I thought I might die of cuteness. Dangerous, dangerous..
Oh, I have to reply soon, don’t I?
“…Ah, yes, I’m okay now. Thank you for saving me.”
I hoped that I said it well, I doubt she carried me all the way here, but I think she was still the one who opened the windows and brought the bucket of water. So it was right to extend my gratitude to this little girl whom I don’t know the name of.
“Really? You’re welcome. You see, onii-san was sleeping in the forest, when mommy and me found you when we went to pick some herbs. I thought you were tired so I told mommy to let onii-san sleep in our house.”
I stand corrected.
To think this little girl was capable of being so thoughtful to a random stranger. I misjudged you little girl, I hope you forgive me for thinking otherwise.
Okay, calling her ‘little girl’ all the time won’t do..
“Is that so? Well I’m really grateful to you and your mommy. I was too tired so I slept by accident. My name is Kyouya. What’s yours?”
“Un, so it’s Kyouya-nii then! My name is Elle!”
Umu, it’s official.
This girl, no, Elle-chan was too trusting of strangers. No, its not like I have a problem with that, since its because of that naivety that I slept on a bed last night.
But still, if she had this attitude back in Japan, someone would definitely take advantage of this little girl, most definitely. I can almost see it, the little Elle-chan being lured by a strangely kind old man into a van-
Wait, this is not the time for strange delusions! Now that I think about it, am I indirectly calling myself strange for thinking these things about my benefactor?
This is bad, my head is starting to hurt…
While I seemed to have my head going in weird places, Elle-chan suddenly called out to the daydreaming me. I am embarrassed, really I am, is there a hole somewhere?
“….What, what is it Elle-chan?”
With a monotone voice that was hiding my inner turmoil, I decide to move the topic away from my earlier thoughts by asking her what was the matter. Yes, let’s just forget about all those altogether. Such a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself.
“Yes, I just wanted to tell you that mommy was just preparing breakfast, so would you like to come eat with us? You know, you must be hungry right Kyouya-nii?”
Your kindness is too blinding Elle-chan! I can’t even look her in the eyes anymore after all that happened. If Elise-san was an angel, Elle-chan should be a saint.
Well, that’s enough of my thoughts going wild. More importantly, as soon as I heard the topic of food, my stomach instantly reacted.
I was slightly embarrassed about my roaring abdomen, but it couldn’t be helped. Though, when I looked towards Elle-chan to see her reaction, I was surprised.
“I knew it, then let’s go Kyouya-nii!”
Because a bright smile of a playful child was seen on her small face, I smiled a bit as well. It seems I was not mistaken after all, she was a saint. That, I was sure of.
As she pulled me along towards the narrow corridor outside of the room, a pleasant scent wafted around my nostrils, that inevitably made my mouth water in anticipation.
I didn’t want to show my unsightly side to Elle-chan since I was the older one, but my body is honest. I can’t do anything about the basic human needs.
I wish I could somehow be more cooler in her eyes though. For now, let’s meet Elle-chan’s mother. Judging from where the delicious scent was coming from, she was probably still in the kitchen. As we got closer, the smell got stronger, and I involuntarily gulped.
After all, I had been eating hard bread for a week. I couldn’t complain back then, because if I said it out loud, my head would be separated from my torso. But still, I was looking forward to tasting some normal food for once.
I noticed that there weren’t any stairs leading upwards, which meant that this house was only one story high. The passage leading up to the few rooms from what I assume was the house’s entrance, was just a short distance. Truly, a villager’s cottage.
When we made it to the room where the scent was coming from, I gasped in shock of what danger that met my own eyes, which could not believe what they are seeing…
“…Just right, hmm? Oh, Elle, is that the boy who fainted near the forest?”
In the room, there was only one person. A woman, who looked to be not a day older than in her early 20’s. With brown hair that flowed down until her waist, fair skin, amber eyes, and those weapons of mass destruction, a beautiful woman wearing a simple apron, asked Elle-chan a question about me.
I didn’t pay attention to what she said that much, but it seemed she was looking towards me now, almost as if she was evaluating me. It’s not strange after all, considering a strange guy had entered your home, and is now going to eat breakfast with you.
I would be suspicious of someone like that as well, if I were in her position. But, please stop pushing ‘those’ upwards with your arms crossed like that. I feel like my face is getting hotter each time I looked at ‘them’. So, I quickly averted my gaze, and made my eyes swim like a suspicious person.
It couldn’t be helped. If she really was Elle-chan’s mother, I would have invoked my facade and paid my respects all the while introducing myself in a straightforward and calm manner.
I could tell, for some reason. That those eyes of hers, could somehow maybe see through my fake words and gestures that cover up my inner lacking sociability.
Yes, she was like a certain person I used to know back when I was a kid, my teacher who I relied on too much. Also, I doubt using my facades here would be a wise decision. Since her daughter saved me from dying of hypothermia outside, or something even worse, I would feel guilty if I lied to her.
Huh, is this what it feels like to have a dragon’s insight? This skill was more useful than I previously thought. There are many things I need to guarantee my safety in this world.
One of those things specifically, is wisdom.
The thinking capacity to make decisions according to the situation without regretting it. A very important trait that I needed to have, was somehow gained after that battle.
“Yes, I am Kyouya. Thank you very much for letting me stay here even though there was no merit for you in doing so. I’ll be sure to repay this debt someday.”
I did a grateful bow, after speaking out my true feelings.
That might have been awkward. I wondered what she thought, so after a while, I looked at her once again, resisting the urge to look a bit more downwards.
“….Alright, you’re welcome. My name is Marielle, and this is my daughter, Elle. We’re just about to start breakfast, so would you care to join us?”
The earlier suspicious gaze, turned into a beautiful smile. Oh no, I might fall under her charm. Control yourself, me! What was I even thinking of doing to a married woman!?
“Yes, thank you. I would be glad, since I haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon. Is your husband joining us as well?”
I was happy at being invited by the person herself into sharing a meal, but as soon as I said that word, their happy faces suddenly turned somewhat gloomy.
What, did I do something bad?
“…Did I say anything that offended you, Marielle-san? If so, I’m really sorry.”
When I said those words, Marielle-san suddenly released a sigh.
“No….it’s just that my husband already passed away a few years ago in the war.”
A slight smile could be seen on her lips, but I knew that there was a hint of sadness hidden within it. I had this absurd skill that could tell at least that, after all.
“I see. Sorry, for asking something like that so lightly.”
I lower my head down once again, but this time, showing my sincere apologies.
The word ‘war’ interested me of course, but this was not the time to ask these questions.
“No, no, you were just curious, that’s all. It’s nothing you should be sorry about.”
I could only nod at the strange expression on Marielle-san’s face.
“Alright then, let’s eat before the meal gets cold.”
She led us further into the room, where a circular table made of wood, with four chairs at each corner. The various foodstuffs lined up were dishes that I could recognize.
Each plate had a scrambled egg, a strip of meat that looked like bacon, and tomato slices slightly hidden by cabbage leaves. A wooden bowl that was filled with vegetable soup was placed on the side. You could tell that it was just made, when you looked at how the heat was evaporating into the air. Although, there was a piece of black bread placed near the warm soup, I couldn’t complain about not having any rice in a different world.
While thinking about different things while eating the delicious meal that almost brought me to tears, I started telling fairy tale stories that were popular back on Earth to Elle-chan as we passed time together. Looking over the happy faces of me and Elle-chan was the one who made the meal, Marielle-san.
I had various mixed feelings about Marielle-san and her circumstances, when I saw her gentle smile at the corner of my eyes, but I chose to not mind it and continued the first delicious meal I had since coming to this world.