Each In Their Place
The result was that they had no hope of escape. The window had bars and their heads could not even fit through them. Still, Maki pulled herself up and was able to see what was outside.
“It looks like a back yard. I think someone would notice if they were close by, oh, there is someone. A boy. Oh, he noticed me. But he just glared. Oh, now he’s turning up his nose…he left now… He showed 0 signs of wanting to help me.”
Maki hung down from the window frame. Chiharu wondered if she should say anything before opening her mouth.
“Maybe he’s jealous that you’ve stolen his master’s affection.”
Maki dropped down.
“I didn’t steal anything! And it’s not affection!”
It was no time to tease her. The room had a bath and a toilet but neither came with windows. The door was locked.
They tied to leave the room when dinner was brought to them, but they were stopped. However, they were able to observe that there were no guards in the hallway. That meant they might be able to escape if they could just leave the room.
However, they had no opportunity to get out. At night, they pushed the writing desk to the front of the door before sleeping, but there were no signs of anyone coming. Two days passed like this.
So why had no one come to see them? It was because of Grudo’s efforts.
“Well, well now. Surely you can humor an old man who is not long for this world.”
Grudo said as he followed the mayor around for the entire day. As he was the inventor of the train and had helped promote the use of magic stones, the accomplished dwarf was not someone who could be treated as a nuisance. And so the mayor invited the powerful people of the area and tried to entertain him.
However, Grudo would not let the mayor out of his sight.
“What do you do as mayor?”
“Give me a tour of your mansion.”
He said as he followed him around. And when it was night time…
“I can hardly sleep now that I’m old.”
He said as he wandered through the hallways at night with a guard. And this had happened when the mayor had finally acquired a human that he liked. He wanted to slowly get them to open up to him. But now he couldn’t even meet them.
It was just as Maki, Chiharu, the Mayor, and Grudo were all starting to feel incredibly frustrated, that someone different came to Maki and Chiharu’s room to serve them food.
“Ah, you’re that boy from the yard.”
“Here. Your food.”
The boy glanced at them and tried to leave.
He only tried to leave faster when Maki went to stop him. And so Chiharu called to him.
“If we get out of here, you’ll have him all to yourself.”
The boy stopped.
“We were taken by force. We would leave if we could, but we’re locked up in here. We don’t even have a contract as workers.”
“What do you mean?”
“Maybe the person who brings us our food just happened to forget to lock the door…”
The boy looked at the floor and said,
“I can’t do that. The master will be sad.”
“What! Why do you care!”
“Kenneth. Be quiet.”
Chiharu signaled to Maki.
“Is he a good person?”
“We were starving inlanders when he took us in and gave us work and food. Even when we get older and he has no need for us, he looks for jobs for us to do. And I never had enough to eat in the human lands.”
Maki’s eyebrows twitched. Hmm. It sounded like a nice story at first, but the ‘no need for us’ part sounded horrifying. Be quiet for just a little longer, Maki. Inlanders? Huh.
“We followed soldiers from Midland because we were looking for our parents. We don’t want to work here. And I’m sure you would rather us not be here as well.”
The boy continued to look at the floor.
“I’ll come again in the evening. If you turn to the left after leaving, there is a back exit that will take you to the back yard.”