The house resident I crashed into, a gray-haired young man said.
“Who might you be?”
“…Don’t overthink it. Imagine that all of a sudden you have a sister.”
“Is there a reason? I have a younger brother. I don’t have a younger sister and don’t want one.”
The little sister’s strategy was a failure. I thought it was a clever idea to exploit the male psyche, thinking that he would be happy if a cute little sister suddenly fell in his lap one day.
This person seems to be highly guarded based on the atmosphere alone. If he were an average man, he would probably say, “Imouto-chan kawaii!” by now.
Alright, I’m thinking about my future actions while buying time with empty conversion.
How will he act now that he is in front of me? Assuming I will be charged for the roof and furniture repairs, I might be handed over to the guards.
Also, where am I? Am I inside or outside the Balshine Kingdom? If it were a foreign land, it would be troublesome. I’m a Count, suddenly showing up in foreign land could lead to international problems.
“You don’t want a little sister…. Then, you can call me Onee-chan.”
“Haa…. what are you doing on my roof?”
“I had no business in this house. I was moving along the roof and just happened to end up here. I don’t even know where I am.”
“It’s a miracle there are no injuries from your dangerous behavior. Do you see the bell on the west side of the street? You go west from there, take the second turn to the right, do you understand?”
He doesn’t give the place’s name but describes it in detail. He probably doesn’t expect me to be an outsider and not know the town name.
Even if I asked the town’s name, I might not know what region I am in.
Where am I? It would be too suspicious if I asked him, so I would prefer not to ask.
Let’s try extracting information from him naturally, without being obtrusive.
“Ah—I’m sorry. This is my first time in this area, so I don’t know.”
“I see. Where do you usually stay in the capital?”
Capital? Did he say I’m in the capital? From what I could see from the air, it wasn’t Balshine. There was no way I could have mistaken it.
That means it’s foreign capital. That’s dangerous. It is even more dangerous if it is Balshine’s neighboring country. The existence of Yumiela Dolknes is well known, making the possibility of panic among the nation’s authorities huge.
There is also a possibility I’m on another continent. Yumiela who? Who is that? It would be better for me. But I will have a hard time coming back.
The worst place would be the Remrest Kingdom. When we visited Patrick’s family, we got into trouble with their armies.
While trying not to let my inner impatience surface, I probe further.
“This is my first time coming to the capital. I came from far away.”
“Far away? Don’t tell me you come from outside Remrest?”
“No way. I have never been to a foreign land since I was born.”
Bad predictions are often turned into reality. This is Remrest, and I’m in the capital.
This isn’t good. Should I take advantage of the night and force my way across the border? I should be able to make it back to my home in Dolknes territory without taking a break.
He has difficulty deciding what to do with a suspicious individual like me. He stares and thinks silently for a moment.
I would hit the back of the neck in an emergency to put him to sleep and escape. I have never done it before, so I don’t know how much force to use. Too strong and it will kill him, too weak and it won’t put him to sleep.
What kind of mechanism does that thing use to put him to sleep? Does it stimulate the nerves in the back of the neck? Will there be any aftereffects?
Is it possible to escape without putting him to sleep? I was afraid I might fail, leaving the jab for another time.
While making calculations to escape, I heard a loud voice out of my consciousness. The voice came from outside.
“Are you okay?! I heard a loud noise?!”
The neighbors who heard the falling sound were concerned and came to check on him.
I hope not too many people witness this. He might say something strange came through the roof, called the guards, and I ended up in jail.
While I had always wanted to wear a black-and-white striped prison uniform at least once, it would be no good for a nobleman to get caught in a supposedly enemy kingdom.
The gray-haired man clicked his tongue and whispered.
“Stay still and be quiet.”
Then he turns his back and walks out of the room with a sour look.
I listened closely and heard him going down the stairs, opening a poorly built door, and talking to his neighbors.
“Ah, you’re all alright.”
“I apologize for causing such a disturbance during the night. I was carrying something and dropped it down the stairs.”
“As long as you aren’t hurt. But please don’t do that kind of manual labor at night.”
“I’m sorry. I will come back tomorrow to apologize.”
“No, there is no need to go that far. You’re very astute for such a young man.”
“Since Oji-san has temporarily entrusted me with the house, I wouldn’t want to cause any trouble for the neighbors.”
Thinking I should escape while the homeowner and neighbor were talking, I was ready to jump out from the open roof. But I couldn’t help but listen in on the conversation.
The homeowner is too friendly. It’s scary. It is usual for people to respond differently to different people, but where did the nervous and grumpy young man go? From the exchange, he is an exemplary nice young man.
Plus, he even lied about me and my existence to his neighbor. Why? It was too convenient for me.
Regardless of why he hid me, it pains my conscience to storm out of someone’s house and escapes.
I can always run away. Let’s put it on hold and offer him a sincere apology.
The situation outside seems to be calm. The whispered conversation can be heard, perhaps out of concern for the neighbors. If it wasn’t me, I doubt anyone would listen to it.
“Alright, alright. Just let me know if you need any help.”
“Thank you for your concern. Good night.”
“Good night. When it gets dark, you must go to bed. Sleep properly.”
Then, the door closed—the neighborhood’s Oji-san walking. The homeowner’s tongue clicking can be heard.
…How scary. He’s acting like a wolf in sheep’s clothing with his neighbor. If the neighbor knew the lovely young man had clicked his tongue as soon as they parted, they would become distrustful of humans.
I’ve decided to apologize, though I’m getting a little scared.
It is embarrassing, but I’m not afraid to joke around during serious situations.
While thinking about whether I shouldn’t do it, I immediately acted on the thought.
It has just occurred to me now. The idea came to me as something one ranks above getting down on one’s knees, which is the best way to show sincerity and take it a step further, standing on one’s hand.
Had I been an average person, I would have done it. I would have greeted his return to this room by standing on my hand.
But today was the only time I thought about not doing it. Sometimes I would take it seriously.
While I think he’s a scary guy, I don’t find him intimidating at all. I never get nervous in most situations with the mental advantage that I would win in a fistfight.
I wonder why. Being a stranger from a neighboring kingdom, someone I would never see again once we parted, my intuition which is famous for being roughly off, warned me not to let him think I was strange.
He came up the stairs. The sound of his quick steps was noticeable.
The door opened quietly but quickly. The gray-haired man, bearing a slight resemblance to Patrick but not quite the same, clicks his tongue again as he checks me out.
Judging by how he looked at me, he seemed unhappy that I was still here. I would have thought this was more of a relief that I hadn’t escaped, but he certainly looked at me and then clicked his tongue.
Perhaps he wanted to charge me for expenses related to the broken items, but he seemed to prefer that I had disappeared.
“You’re still here.”
“Sorry. Do I need to pay you for everything I’ve broken?”
“You don’t have to worry about that. All you need to do is get out of here.”
“That isn’t how it works….”
“Don’t worry about it. Just don’t come back.”
It is too good to be true for me to be allowed to leave without any repercussions.
He can’t be someone who is just being friendly. There must be an apparent reason for this. But I have no intention of making such a guess now.
Before the homeowner changes his mind, I’d better get out of here.
I bow deeply. No kneeling and no handstand.
“I’m truly sorry. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”
I raise my head and start walking hurriedly.
On my way to the front door, I tried to walk past him, but his arm blocked my path.
“Wait. Do you have somewhere to go?”
“Don’t worry. Whatever will be, will be.”
“Nothing, right? Going out at this time of the night could get you into trouble. Just for the night. You can stay here.”
Why did he suddenly act friendly? My head is filled with questions, but I thank him for his help.
His words and actions are inconsistent. He concealed my presence, pressured me to leave, refused to accept compensation, and told me to stay the night because it was dangerous.
Until he asked me to stay overnight, I thought he was treating me as someone who brought trouble. For example, imagine having a mysterious organization chasing him.
No one wants strangers coming after them in their homes. Maybe this is why he didn’t want me to disclose to the outside world I was there and told me to leave immediately. He didn’t charge me for items I destroyed because he wanted me gone as soon as possible.
It made sense up to that point. However, this is where he started worrying about me going out at night.
He would have wanted me out of the house so badly he would trick his neighbors and give up the repair costs, which aren’t cheap. Since I was obediently trying to leave, it was customary for him to see me off silently.
This doesn’t make sense to me. What kind of person is he?
But the one who would be in trouble if my true identity were revealed would be me. I think I’d better not go into it too much.
Flying back to the Dolknes territory would be a good idea, but I’m a little tired from my trip to space. It would be nice to be able to rest here.
“Thanks for your help. About the thing you were talking about earlier….”
“Is this about the reparation money? I told you not to worry about it.”
Although I was instantly turned down, I still think I should pay for it. The hole in the roof, which is the size of one Yumiela, will be challenging to repair.
The rest is furniture. Some of the furniture just fell over, but the shelves I used as cushions are entirely broken. The amount could be quite a bit if you include other minor things.
While I’m rich, I came here unprepared, so I have nothing on me. I have some money in my pocket, which I always keep in case I suddenly have the urge to buy something to eat or drink. Several silver and copper coins aren’t going to be enough.
It is embarrassing that although I have offered to pay for the things I destroyed, I cannot pay for them.
No doubt he wouldn’t like the idea of me paying it later. Neither do I want to risk crossing the border in hiding more than once. Asking a merchant who comes and goes between countries might be dangerous.
“I don’t have any money with me right now….”
“You’re not listening to me. I told you I don’t charge anything.”
Focusing my gaze on my body, I look for something that could be exchanged for cash.
On my left hand. The ring filled with wind attributes magic power—a precious engagement gift from Patrick. I can’t sell it for anything.
Searching for something else, I looked around my entire body for it, but I couldn’t find any. I wished I wore jewelry daily for the first time in my life.
Since there is almost nothing that I carry with me all the time, oh, there is. This is something I can exchange and is acceptable for trade.
It is awkward to give this away, but there are no other choices. While I had a spare, I didn’t have a spare for the spare.
I took out the crystal. The crystal is always on hand so that I can measure the level anytime, anywhere.
“It doesn’t sit right with me. Take this. If you exchange it for cash, it should at least cover the cost of repairing your roof.”
“Where did you hide it? Where did you take it from?”
“Please don’t worry about it.”
“And this is….”
“This is a magical device that can measure the level. You can usually buy it at any store that deals in magical devices.”
He shook his head when I explained that he probably didn’t recognize this crystal because they aren’t commonly available.
“I know what that is. Why are you carrying this around? You have an unusual obsession with a level… and your black hair, no way?!”