It was after two days that he finally had a chance to confirm the girl’s safety. During that time, he tried to escape the tent multiple times, but his attempts would be stopped by a man named Victor every time.
Although there are no chains on him, he’s as good as under a house arrest. Their treatment aren’t bad in any way.
The food were very much for human instead of the strange tasting paste in the facility, and despite not being a warm place, they still provided a tent shielded from the weather to sleep.
Thanks to that, his body is regaining its strength. The pain in his abdomen and back is because he gets struck down every time he tried to escape, in other words, it’s entirely his own fault.
「The Captain finally gave his approval. You can meet her after your meal. 」
Being told so by Victor who brought his food here, he suddenly lunged out.
「As if I would lie about something like that. Go ahead with your meal if you understand. 」
「Food can wait, let me meet her first! 」
「Haa……, listen here. You are fine with it, but they’re eating too. A pestering man will be hated. 」
Being scolded and forced to stay, having no choice, he stuffed the bread and plain soup into his stomach. He had come to understand that Victor isn’t an easy person to go against in the past two days.
After finishing his meal and staring at him, Victor with a tired face brought him out of the tent. It was the first time he saw outside the tent.
He had expected it from the sound he’d heard and the temperature he felt on his skin inside the tent, there were several similar tents lined up.
Between the tents, there were armed adults coming and going. He frowned at the place that had more people than expected.
Occasionally, he would get interested gazes directed towards him.
「She’s this way. Follow me. 」
Entering the tent guided by Victor, the one standing there was the girl that he’d brought out from the facility without mistake.
Other than her, there’s another two person. One of them is a woman that he’d never see before, but the other one is someone he met before.
The face of the man he saw last before he lost consciousness trying to cut him, and also the man that he first saw after waking up.
The muscular body full of ferocious vitality in perfect balance, his presence alone dominated the area.
With a slight smile, his olive-colored eyes were looking at him. Even after noticing his gaze, he ignored them purposefully and ran to the girl, putting both his hands on her shoulders and confirmed her safety.
「Are you alright!? Did they do anything to you!? 」
For him, the girl comes first than himself. If he had come this far and can’t protect the girl, then for what purpose has he escaped the facility.
An excuse to escape from the reality where he might not be a human being. Or maybe he was a human before, to save the girl at the very least in place of himself not being saved.
Either ways, he is now persistent to the girl.
「Hey Captain, looks like we’re people that would do something to a weakened girl. 」
「The heck. Are we bandits or something……」
It was the man called as the Captain by the woman that showed a fed up expression after looking at him.
「Isn’t it because of your normal conduct and speech? 」
Victor said so with a cool face. After looking up and down several times, confirming that the girl was alright, he turned around and hid her behind himself, shielding her from the three people.
「Say Victor. Ain’t he still taking us as enemies? 」
「Since he doesn’t know us, isn’t his guard justifiable? 」
「And you did nothing to explain huh. 」
「That’s not related to my job after all. 」
「Tch, getting lazy on me. 」
「Yes yes, Captain and Victor too, leave that for later. Look, the kid is glaring. 」
The woman stopped the Captain and Victor from their meaningless bicker.
「You heard her, Captain. It’s your job now. 」
Victor said so, leaving the Captain with a bitter expression behind and getting out of the tent.
「He’s a good caretaker, you say. 」
The woman seeing him leave sent a meaningful gaze to the Captain.
「Nope, nothing. 」
After their exchange that he didn’t understand, the Captain scratched his head and then said.
「Seriously. In any case, if he’s so on guard, there’s no use in speaking. Aaah, don’t glare like that, kid. It’s not like we’re going to eat you or anything. If we were planning to do that, we would’ve restrained you when you’re asleep right? 」
Then, the girl’s whisper from behind reached him while he still stared at the suspicious Captain.
「Nee, I think they’re good people. I’m happy that you’re worrying about me but, that person had been taking care of me for the whole time. 」
Hearing what the girl said, even the Captain’s expression started to loosen up.
「Yeah right, the little missy there do understand well. 」
「Isn’t it just because Captain and Victor’s treatment towards the kid harsh? 」
「Taking good care of someone is too much to ask from men living as mercenary, you know. 」
As she thought about it, the woman pointed out.
「Leaving that aside, isn’t it better we introduce ourselves first? 」
Prompted by the woman, the displeased atmosphere disappeared, and the Captain faced to them again.
「I said it just now but, it’s not like we’re going to do anything to you two. We are the mercenary band, Wisteria. Well, it’s a gathering of mercenaries that participates in battles by getting hired. Since we had free time until our next job, we’re camping here for seven days and are training. 」
Going back to town now will just get us sent out immediately after all, the Captain added on.
「I am the Captain of this mercenary band, Greyth. She’s Lexy. The guy just now is Victor. I don’t know who you two are, and we aren’t on any duty currently. We’re not your enemy as long as you don’t pull anything dodgy. That I can guarantee. 」
「Mercenary, band……? 」
「That’s right. When we were training, there’s one guy that found a mana reaction from a wasteland that should have nothing. And so we went there to check just in case, and found you two. That’s about the story. We don’t know who you two are, and at the very least, not intending to do anything by capturing you two. So there’s no need to be so alert. 」
After hearing the explanation from Greyth, the strength in his shoulders finally loosened. After that, the explanation regarding the mercenary band continued for a while, after he had gotten a certain degree of understanding over the situation, it’s Greyth turn to prompt him to talk.
「And so, that’s what we are. Now it’s your turn to explain yourself right? It’s not possible right now because we have an upcoming job but, we can send you to some nearby town. If your family can pay for it, we can say that it’s just an escort job. Well, as long as it’s not a town too far away anyways.」
There’s no ill intentions in Greyth’s words and attitude. It’s one thing that they had taken care of the girl till today without harming her, judging that at the very least this mercenary band is unrelated to their pursuers, he started a detailed story about themselves.
Though, it’s only a story of a few days. He is hazy to what had happened before he regained his ego, and there’s nothing but uncertain memories. He didn’t know whether they are his own memories, or memories from someone who is not himself.
「Fumu……, so you woke up locked away inside a room of a building when you noticed, huh? And, the girl there was brought from her hometown somewhere and don’t know where this is. ……What do you think, Lexy? 」
「Isn’t it the Principality’s territory across the wasteland? The buildings will be…… defending-use fortress? But then their defenses are too weak, and in the first place, they are bringing children even by means of kidnapping right. ……Isn’t it just some bandits using an abandoned fortress as their hideout? 」
「Well, those matters can be left for later. For the time being, it’s what these two want to do next but……. The little missy don’t know where her hometown is, and the kid don’t have any memories. No one to rely on, and no money too. No food. No place to go……. And so well――, it’s not like I can leave them like that……」
「You’ve decided anyways right? Isn’t it fine to skip making excuses for this and that to them. 」
Lexy pointed out with a tired face, and Greyth looked to the sky with a wronged expression.
「Uhmm…… so what are we going to do now? 」
The girl asked as she did not understand the meaning of what they said.
「Aah, in other words. You can just stay with us until you’ve decided what to do. I mean, we’re a mercenary band, so it’s not like it’s safer than being in a town but, it’s a lot better than two children loitering around with nowhere to go right. 」
「Well, that’s the case. At the very least, if you stay here, we can provide some food and safety. Of course, we expect work from you. How is it? You can leave now if you want, or follow us. Decide that by yourselves. 」
He thought silently for a while. It’s none other than himself who most understand his lack of power to protect the girl.
He doesn’t have the knowledge to judge anything, nor any financial resources to buy food, not just that, he’d never seen a piece of coin.
On top of all, he didn’t have the most basic element of them all, the strength to protect the girl from harm. Considering the girl’s safety, his offer is a saving boat for him.
He asked the girl with only his gaze, and the girl just nodded silently. Eventually, he with a bitter face raised the white flag.
「……Please, let us stay here. 」
Despite the person saying that looking reluctant, the person that received it certainly didn’t.
「Good, it’s decided then. First, prioritize regaining your health……, though before that, we haven’t even heard your names? 」
Asked by Greyth casually, he muttered bitterly in his heart.
Something like that―――I don’t know.
He didn’t know who himself is. Naturally, there’s no name for himself in his memories.
「Don’t know. 」
「Not remembering it? Then you? 」
Greyth turned away from him, and asked the girl.
「Ru―――, no…… I too……」
The girl wanted to say something, but immediately stopped herself. Seeing both of them like that, despite looking a little surprised, Greyth didn’t peer further.
「Well, it’s not like I’m forcing you to tell me. There’s only people with reasons in a mercenary band. Though, not having a name is inconvenient, so should I give you some nicknames now? 」
After thinking for a while with his hand on his chin, Greyth got their names and told them.
「Little missy will be Ru……Ruu, ………how about Luciel? And the kid…… aa――, ……Ardis…… I guess. 」
「Fu――n. They are good names despite coming from Captain huh. 」
Lexy commented beside Greyth.
「Despite, that is one word extra. 」
「Ahahaha, sorry, sorry. 」
Lexy laughed at Greyth who didn’t find it amusing. Looking at the two conversing without any fakery, the unrest within his heart lessened a little.
「Alright. Then Ardis and Luciel. You two are now members of our Wisteria mercenary band. Don’t worry, you two won’t be fighting yet. That’s until both of you have trained hard. 」
His alert against the man Greyth loosened just by a little seeing him laughingly announced so.