Young Girl, Talking of the past just a little bit
At the words that Latina asked, Dale was shocked like normal.
“Dale, <Friend>, what is it?”
It seems that in the lost child case the other day, Latina became acquaintances with the children of the East District.
This shop in the South District faces the streets and is a shop which has a healthier atmosphere compared to the other adventurer shops but, it isn’t a place for kids to be playing in.
Despite that, recently, I think that I see kids sometimes.
However Dale agreed that their aim was for Latina though.
“It seems like you made some friends, Latina”, was the reply to the aforementioned subject.
“Eh? Um…. Latina didn’t have… friends before?”
“? I don’t really understand <Friend>. Kuroe too, calls Latina, a friend but, I don’t really understand.”
Dale was groaning as Latina was slightly tilting her head.
More than not having any gloomy guilty conscience towards Latina, he couldn’t deduce if she had been persecuted in her village. But, she is a <Single Horn>. To the <Demon Folk>, she might even be an object of extreme disdain.
He has no idea where the landmine might be.
“…Umm… Latina, you, have you never played with any kids around your age?”
“Play together? Like family?”
“No… not family. Didn’t you play together with kids from different families?”
Latina once again slightly tilted her head at Dale’s words.
“Latina… only had family and adults around”
At her words, he remembers that with the <Demon Folk>’s longevity, they were a race with low birth rates. The amount of children might be pretty low.
“Umm… friends are, people outside of family who you play with and talk with…. and I suppose mostly around your own age”
Realising that my current explanation might end up making myself, Rita and Kenneth <Recognised as friends>, I added another thing.
“While we’re on that subject, it’s also the people that Latina like”
I’m not quite sure about that bit but, to such an good kid, I want to raise her to think like that. Which is what Dale thinks.
“Does Kuroe, like, Latina?”
“I don’t think that you would like to be friends with someone you don’t really like”
After considering Dale’s words for a little bit, Latina loosened her expression cutely.
“Latina also likes Kuroe. Kuroe, being Latina’s friend, I’m happy.”
Dale patted Latina’s head with a happy look, while worrying a little.
Thinking that he should ask about what she just said.
And then said choosing his words.
“…What sort of people, were around you Latina”
“I don’t know. What kinds are there?”
Dale realised his mistake.
Fundamentally, Latina doesn’t know enough of the <Words used for explanations>.
“Umm… family,… did you have siblings?”
“In a family, the children born from the same parents, the older boys and girls are big brothers, and big sisters. The younger boys and girls are little brothers and little sisters. Altogether that’s siblings.”
“…Latina, big brother and big sister. Little brother, little sister didn’t have. No siblings”
After listening to Dale’s explanation, Latina replied like that.
“The adults around you, what sort of people were they?”
“I don’t know. Latina didn’t really, meet with other people, or talk to them”
Answering like that Latina didn’t seem very happy. This is probably the time to stop.
To her, it’s probably not a very happy memory.
As Dale decided that and was about to cut off the conversation,
“That’s why, right now, being together with Dale lots, Latina is happy.”
The words said by this embarrassed young girl was a critical hit.
She gave a bright smile towards Dale. A smile which wouldn’t lost to the times when she was eating her favourite sweets.
“Latina likes Kuroe but, I like Dale lots and lots more”
“I love you too, Latina! You’re really so cute~!”
Latina seemed extremely happy at what Dale said as he suddenly hugged her.
(If this was a plan to make the topic hazy then this is quite ominous but… If it’s there was a evil person like Latina, then I’ll just have to fall for it!)
Even though he thought of something like that, Dale was still insanely happy.
“Latina’s so cute, I don’t want to go to work”
“Are you talking stupid again?”
Rita made a face like she was tired of reacting to even cutting Dale’s speech short as always with her terribly intense look.
“I dun wannaaaa~!! I can’t come back within the day and I don’t even know how I long I have to stay there! Leaving Latina, tell me what sort of comfort I’ll get facing those damn grandpas in that demon hoard!”
Banging and thudding, it seems that Dale who’s kicking around like a spoiled kick has quite a bit of stress.
“Which is why, going to the capital, you want to let Latina go as well?”
“No way. What would happen if those guys caught Latina… I can only think of bad things”
Returning to normal in an instant, Dale afterwards dropped down exhausted at the counter.
“I get it… it’s work after all, there’s no helping it. If I think of Latina waiting for me, it seems like it’s worth doing more than ever. …Latina too, seems to have made friends so, she can probably be distracted when she’s staying at home… So, I get it.”
I tightly squeeze my fists.
“Even if I get it, I don’t like what I don’t like!”
Ah. As expected, this guy is no good.
Rita just looked at Dale who was decisively declaring that, with eyes like there was nothing she could do.
“If you understand there’s nothing you can do then, go and buy a souvenir that Latina might like at the capital.”
Scales fell from my face at Rita’s words.
“Clothes, there are sizes and she can’t wear it right away so probably not that… Latina likes sweets and a famous shop in the capital or something, how about you look it up?”
“Souvenir… souvenirs huh…”
Given that Dale going to the capital for work was a frequent matter, he had never <bought souvenirs> before. Maybe at most stocking up the items which were hard to obtain in Kroix at Kenneth’s request.
At the mention of the new and popular sweets in the capital, Latina was all smiles. There’s no doubt that she must have properly said her thanks like,“Thank you”. She might have even added, “I love Dale”.
“I, might be able to try my best”
“Ah, -nod-. Yea, alright”
A rather casual response from Rita.
On the morning that Dale goes to the capital for work, Latina came and got out of bed for the sake of sending him off. The morning sun was only peeking out slightly, so it was much earlier than her usual wake up time.
“…Don’t force yourself, did you rest well?”
She shook her head in denial at Dale’s words, Latina started crawling out, squirming from under her blanket.
But she looked quite sleepy. Like it seemed extremely dangerous to go down stairs and such. Dale strained a smile as he carried her into his arms.
Even though not that much time has passed since he has met her, he felt relieved due to her body having definitely gained weight.
Dozing off as her head sways, Latina who was repeatedly trying to properly wake up, up till now was still half asleep.
“Sorry, Latina. I’ll be away from home for a little while but, can you hold on?”
“Latina… alright. Wait for Dale”
I say as I pet her head, Latina replied with an extremely earnest face.
“I can hold on. Latina, will properly stay in Rita and Kenneth’s place. So, please come back”
“Ah. I’ll come back with souvenirs so… Be careful”
Hugging Latina tightly for the last time, I let her go.
Going out to the shop’s entrance I leave Latina in the care of Kenneth.
“Take care of Latina”
“Ah. Take care of yourself too”
“Latina’s waiting for me, so I have to”
The sight of Dale laughing like that as he answered was something never seen before.
“Then, I’m going now”
“Dale, have a safe trip. Work, take care”
–Ah. I’m gonna try my best.
As she meshed together those last few words, I departed from Kroix.
The panic that Latina had from Rudi was something due to her own inexperience with children.
Her <Crime> and <Birth> are gradually, becoming clearer as she grows…. or so it should.)