After seeing their figure completely disappear from the alley, I turned back to the young man on the ground. The young man trembled while curled up.
「Are you alright? 」
「Ah, U-unn. I-I’m okay. Ouch……! 」
It seems that his right leg is in pain. Looking closely as I crouched down, it’s swelled reddish black.
「Here, take my hand. 」
「Nn. Thanks. 」
I lent my shoulders and supported him up. It seems that he’s in considerable pain, as his right foot is limping.
「It would be good if you get to a clinic. Should I take you there? 」
「Me, know clinic. Is it really alright? 」
「Don’t hold back 」
I brought Ravi together with me and took the young man to the nearby clinic. Through the medical examination, it became clear that his toe is fractured, and he needs 2 weeks to fully recover.
「His legs, pitiful……」
Ravi muttered after seeing the young man’s leg being wrapped in thick bandage. Her face is bitter as if she felt the young man’s pain herself.
「Daddy, we are sending him back home? 」
「Yeah, that’s right. 」
The young man was given a cane. But since he wasn’t used to it, the way he walks is a bit awkward. I can’t stop now that we’re here. Since I couldn’t just leave him there, I offered to send him back home.
「Thank you. You’re a kind person. 」
The young man smiled innocently and bowed deeply. And the cane fell from his hands and made a sound.
「Wah! The cane 」
The young man panickily stretched his arms to reach the cane.
「I will pick it up……」
Ravi picked it up for him, then he lowered his head repeatedly. He doesn’t seem like the type that’s familiar with socializing. I feel a sense of affinity with that awkwardness as I couldn’t just think it as another person’s matter.
It’s because of that that it became we would send him to his house but……
(……This is unexpected)
Following his guidance, where we arrived at is unexpected.
『Red-light district Maisy』
As I looked up at the gate at the southern side, I opened my mouth. The sun is still high. The guards at the gate was chatting leisurely. I was surprised at the grand gate of the district, but still, I’m with a child after all.
「The brothel I’m working at. It’s a little further after the gate. 」
「I’m, working at a brothel, that’s why. 」
「……Is that so」
But now it’s really troubling.
(As expected, bringing Ravi to the brothel will be……)
Of course, there’s a part of me that wants to help him but……
As someone who is a guardian now, I hesitated.
「……I’m sorry, but is it fine till here? 」
I felt bad because it felt like I was abandoning him. But even though it’s still bright outside, I can’t possibly bring Ravi into the red-light district.
「U-unn. You helped a lot. Thanks 」
The young man lowered his thick brows and smiled lightly and supported himself with the cane and went without us. He was stumbling all around and it seemed dangerous.
Ravi looked at me with a wondering expression. She’s probably trying to ask why I didn’t help him to the end. It’s not that she’s blaming me. But the pure gaze on me, just made me felt more and more guilt.
「Are we not helping him……? 」
The young man bowed towards us once more, then turned around and started walking limping.
Ravi put her hands over her mouth and shouted. He hasn’t taken even a few steps further before losing his balance and fell. I cannot leave him alone after all. I hurried over to him and offered my hand.
I helped him up and looked over at the guards over at the gate. They were still talking amongst themselves leisurely and did not notice anything awry.
「Daddy……. I say……let’s send him back…… 」
(But Ravi would’ve to……)
At the end, I told Ravi to not leave my side, and it became that we’ll escort him until the brothel.
The brothel he worked at had quite the proper appearance. It was as if some noble’s residence. The site was wide, and the back had a garden as well. There were a few pure white sheets flapping in the wind. It appears that the female workers are still resting as they’re not visible. It’s a totally appropriate atmosphere of a normal afternoon. It was an image far from the one I held.
(Brothels in afternoon is this quiet huh……)
Although I haven’t had any fate with this kind of place, I had to admit that I was having my own assumptions about it. I was a little embarrassed that I was weirdly cautious.
Having said that, it’s still a little hard to accept that Ravi is in such place.
(We must get out of Maisy as soon as possible……)
At the end of the garden there is a residence where prostitutes and the servants live. We escorted the young man back to the residence. I planned to return immediately after finishing the business, but the madam who heard about the incident retained me.
「Did you chase away those punks by yourself!? 」
「He didn’t even hit them, they’re scared away! 」
The young man had explained happily to the madam.
「Ain’t that amazing! 」
「U-unn. It was amazing. A-and he’s also kind」
「I see. ――Hey, I have something to talk with you but, you have any interest in becoming our bodyguard? 」
The sudden question caused me to utter without thinking.
「The leader of those punks got his eyes on our popular girl, and had been making all kinds of troubles recently. 」
Madam cupped her cheeks with her hands and sighed. The figures of the punks floated across my mind.
(I see. Is that what happened……)
「Wait what? There’s a bodyguard now? 」
Hearing our conversation, young ladies had started gathering behind the madam. Suddenly, the surroundings became loud. A smell of something sweet like a flower drifted in the air.
(Isn’t it bad if Ravi met the prostitutes……)
I thought it was going all down but……
「Waa……a nice scent……」
Ravi peeked out a little behind me and muttered. Of course, she would like such nice smell since she’s a girl after all.
But it would be too rude for them if I just left with Ravi panickily. I hesitated as I pondered what a『Parent』 would do.
「My. A bodyguard with a child? 」
「Ya―nn, isn’t she a cute one. I want her so bad! 」
She probably was surprised because she became the spotlight all of a sudden. Ravi panickily hid behind me again. I smiled wryly as I patted her head.
It seems they haven’t prepared to go to the store as they haven’t had makeup. But because they were wearing thin nightwear that I felt a little unwilling. I’m already old. Feeling anything at this age is too unfitting. On top of that, the ladies didn’t seem to mind they’re wearing such thin clothing. But I’m still worried what Ravi would think of their clothing.
「This person is the one who chased away those punks」
「By himself!? Amazing――!! 」
The ladies gathered and surrounded me and Ravi.
「Say Ojisan, you look gentle and dependable!! 」
「I’m glad! Now I can work without worrying! Well, not that those punks could’ve bothered me anyways! 」
「That’s right! I would’ve just kicked those people butt to get them out! 」
The voices of exclamation became more and more. Not just that, I could feel touches all over my arm from the stretched hands. As I was tangled between the countless arms, I felt like the problem had escalated. Ravi also hardened as she was getting patted repeatedly.
「Ojisan, when you’re becoming our bodyguard?」
「No……. Sorry but, I’m a traveler, and also I have a child with me」
「Eh-! You’re turning it down!?」
The females suddenly came at me to try to convince me. Finally, I was asked by the madam too.
「Isn’t it fine just for 5 days? They wouldn’t do anything after 5 days」
Why are they so fixated on this 5 day? Even though it’s a job I don’t feel like doing, I’m still curious about it.
「I will be paying you handsomely. And there’s a lot of kids of our girls here. Your daughter can just play together with them. 」
I understand that they’re in trouble. If it were myself, I would’ve helped without hesitation. But I’m not by myself now but the guardian for Ravi.
After I glanced at Ravi, I shook my head sideways.
「……I’m really sorry. I can’t accept your request」
As I lowered my head and apologized……
「No no, it’s our fault to push the impossible. Hey, you don’t really have to mind it so much! Well, we’ve been dealing with those punks somehow till now, it will be fine! 」
The madam said in a bright voice while smiling.
But is it really fine? On the way back from the brothel, Ravi had raised a voice seemingly noticing my hesitation.
「Daddy……those people, you’re not helping……?」
Ravi is looking at me like just now again. A gaze of pondering. Her gaze is asking why I’m not helping them no matter what. I will explain to her when we’re back in the inn. I exhaled a small sigh as I thought so.