Saving The Dog-eared Girl From Her Circumstances (4)
ED: Frozen Ink
I open my eyes.
The view that enters my eye is a scene that I am familiar with.
I am lying on top of a long chair in the hall of my home.
Wine bottles were scattered everywhere on the floor.
If I remembered correctly — my seizure occurred when I was drinking wine and I lost my consciousness afterwards.
I can vaguely remember that instance.
My body feels sluggish.
I have not completely recovered since I still have a headache and a fever.
However, some of my ability to think have return.
(… Well then, how long was I unconscious for?)
I look at the window while pressing my temples with my hands.
It’s dark outside.
In the middle of the night sky, I can see small traces of the sunset.
It was only during the afternoon that I came out from hallucination.
Judging from my experience up until now, it should still be too early to recover in the evening at the same day… it should have taken up a whole day instead.
[In other words, now, is the second night since my seizure.] (Rein)
I’m checking the condition of my throat and tongue and slowly make a sound.
Then, I raise my upper body — and realized.
My body was covered with a blanket.
Of course, I don’t remember doing that on my own.
[……] ( Rein)
I knit my eyebrows while trying to dig my memories.
Yes — I felt someone’s presence just when I was about to lose my consciousness.
Someone similar to a child was by my side —
[Ah -!] (Maiya)
At that time, I heard a voice.
A small silhouette came rushing towards me at the same time.
[You mustn’t, get up so s, suddenly, Danna-sama! What will we do if your illness worsens!] (Maiya)
[……] ( Rein)
She got angry.
— This girl.
She is slightly older than 10 years old.
She is wearing a brand new maid uniform.
However, it doesn’t match her body.
The feeling that I get when I examined her while she is wearing the uniform is that it’s slightly oversized.
There is a maid hat on top of her head and her chestnut blonde hair is sticking out.
Pretty blue pupils with childish but cute facial features.
Yes, I’m vaguely aware that I have seen her before.
[… I understand. I will lie down quietly so, calm down for a bit. Such a loud voice is making my head hurt.] ( Rein)
The little maid girl become despondent at that moment.
[That… I’m sorry, desu. I’m being a nuisance in front of the sick Danna-sama …] (Maiya)
I’m not particularly upset.
The expression in her eyes shows that she is apologetic and she constantly looks at me.
[Err, I borrowed cold water by drawing from the well desu, for the time being, cool down, from your fever desu.] (Maiya)
While saying that, the girl squeezes a towel soaked in a bucket of water and place it on my forehead.
Her technique of squeezing is poor as water is still dripping onto my face… well, the sensation of this is nice.
Immediately, I start to doze off and drifted off to sleep in the process —
[… That’s not it. Oi, you.] ( Rein)
[Y- yes?] (Maiya)
[You, who are you?] ( Rein)
I felt like I have met her outside this mansion before.
However, I’m not able to think 100% properly, so I can’t remember. It’s frustrating.
The girl froze for an instant… … and her expression becomes slightly gloomy.
— No, have I mistook her for someone else?
During the time when I noticed something, a smile returned to her face, and the things that I noticed slip away from my head.
[Ah, I see, Because your fever is that bad, I haven’t introduced myself. Let’s do this properly –] (Maiya)
She take off her hat while she said that.
There is a pair of flattened beast ears sticking out of her head.
Most likely… something like a dog?
The young beastkin girl pinched the hem of her skirt and bowed albeit clumsily.
[My name is Maiya, from the Canis Lupus wolf race, 12 years old desu. From today onwards… that’s not right.] (Maiya)
She started thinking for a short while.
[Er, from yesterday to be exact, I became indebted to this mansion. Please order me to do anything. It’s a pleasure working with you from now on desu!] (Maiya)
[……] ( Rein)
I didn’t respond.
Well, I am troubled by the correct way to respond.
[Ano~, yesterday evening, I came to this house desu but, there was no reply when I called out from the entrance, and I heard the sound of someone breathing painfully from within the house, so I entered on my own accord…] (Maiya)
The little girl named Maiya, continued speaking at a slightly fast pace.
Feeling uneasy due to me remaining silent, her dog ears are flopping downwards.
[Ah, I borrowed the clothes and blanket from the house. The clothe used as a compress on your forehand, that, was torn from Maiya’s old clothes… Er, if, you say that you feel unhappy about touching the clothes of a beastkin, I will immediately remove it…] (Maiya)
[It’s fine.] ( Rein)
My voice finally came out.
[Or rather, I should be thanking you for looking after me. You have my gratitude.] ( Rein)
[N, no, such a thing…] (Maiya)
Maiya’s expression loosen slightly.
[I don’t deserve such kind words. This, I haven’t repay your kindness. — For this Maiya, you have saved my life.] (Maiya)
[…Ah] ( Rein)
I finally remember.
Pushing with my elbow, I raise my body slightly.
[You, are you the chibi that became a hostage just the other day?] ( Rein)
[Y, yes!] (Maiya)
Suddenly, Maiya’s face brightens up.
How can someone make a face full of smile and happiness and feels delighted from recalling that situation?
[I’m the slave from that time. You remembered!] (Maiya)
[Well, yeah.] ( Rein)
I nod my head to agree.
Because the back alley was dark, I couldn’t remember her face, but I definitely recall her voice and her dog ears.
[Nevertheless… I still don’t understand the reason.] ( Rein)
Maiya tilted her head sideway.
[Why did you come to my house? I don’t recall recruiting a servant. Did you make a mistake?] ( Rein)
[E…… Eh?] (Maiya)
Maiya showed an expression of someone being teased, but when she understood that I am neither lying nor joking, she become deeply bewildered.
[A, Ano… Maiya followed the direction Leo-sama gave, this is definitely the place, is what I want to say but…] (Maiya)
[Leo?] ( Rein)
This time, I knit my eyebrows a number of times.
[That Leo is the guy with blond hair, his age is the same as mine, with a height slightly shorter than me and at first glance, you feel that he has a calm and refreshing smile but is plotting some sort of evil scheme behind that smile, right?] ( Rein)
[Eh? Err, I don’t really understand that much but… he definitely has blond hair and showed a friendly smile, desu.] (Maiya)
For the time being, I don’t understand the intention of Leo’s action.
He is pretty well aware that I prefers to be alone.
[Hmm, as expected, there must be an error during the process and Leo sent you to the wrong house. It’s fine to send you back.] ( Rein)
Hearing what I said, Maiya’s eyes were wide open and her face became gloomy.
[That being the case, go ahead and grasp his neck when you go back and shout angrily (You made a mistake, you stupid fool). Include my portion while you are at it. – Ah, I will pay your wage for the whole day. We are even after that.] ( Rein)
[B, b, but, that…] (Maiya)
Maiya seemed to be at a lost as her vision is wandering around and mumbling something – Then, she abruptly look up and utter.
[H, (Human-eating house)!] (Maiya)
[……. What?] ( Rein)
A voice louder than I anticipated.
Maiya continued speaking frantically.
[T, this mansion is called, (Human-eating house), and, Danna-sama’s name is Reinhart-sama. Is that correct, desu?] (Maiya)
[…… You are not wrong.] ( Rein)
The word (Human-eating house) is a nickname attached to this rundown mansion by the people in the neighbourhood.
I live without interacting with other people.
In addition, I did not make any effort to maintain the exterior appearance of the mansion.
There is definitely the feeling of unpleasantness and bad rumours, so there is a possibility that Maiya got hold of such information.
[Did you find out my name from Leo too?] ( Rein)
There shouldn’t be many people here that know my name.
[Y, yes. “Visit a man named Reinhart. Most people are aware of the (Human-eating house) on the outskirt of the town, so you can get the direction if you ask around”. This is actually how I get here –] (Maiya)
Maiya remembered something at this point and an [Ah!] can be heard from her.
[That’s right, the letter of introduction……! Please wait a moment!] (Maiya)
From the slit on her skirt, I can see her animal tail wagging and swaying around while she was looking for something from the luggage she placed in the corner of the room.
After a short while, her voice went up in excitement.
[Found it! This desu!] (Maiya)
Maiya returned to my side and passed me a letter with a happy expression.
[Leo-sama entrusted this to me!] (Maiya)
I raised my upper body from the long chair and examined the letter.
This is a high-quality paper that you can’t buy from the street.
A wax seal was carefully fixed onto the letter.
(The crest from the royal family… this is the real deal.)
Since that’s the case, there is no mistake that this letter originated from that guy.
I open the letter to look at the content.
The letter begins with [My dearest friend Reinhart],
[I sent over a slave from the previous day. This is your reward, so there is no need to thank me. This girl is suitable for you, so by all means, use her as you like.]
Those, were what was written