Chapter 5 – The Trait of the Twins
After just half a day of guarding the twins, Tor found himself unable to tell them apart once again.
But since the time passed without incident, he continued to observe them carefully in order to search for differences.
It was no use.
Eventually, the magitec clock announced that it was midday, and the voices from the first floor grew louder.
“It seems like the workers have started to take their break.”
“There is a dining hall in this building as well?”
“Yes. Up until the death of our parents, most of the workers would eat there. But now more than half of them eat outside.”
As the twins said, most of the noise moved from the first floor to the outside, and then to the alley behind the building before dispersing.
Tor watched them scatter through the window, and then turned towards the twins.
“Aren’t you two going to eat something?”
“Not right now.”
One of them was flipping through pages of a book on the double bed. The other was at her desk, drawing letters and images onto sheets of paper.
Apparently, these twins had a moderate understanding of Japanese, English, and German.
There were also books from other worlds that Tor did not know about. All of this was quite astonishing.
“Researchers of lost items have been translating the words and putting together a dictionary. Of course, there are not many words included yet.”
“But things will progress more smoothly with you here, Tor. What a rare find you are. I’d like to continue hiring you after your work as our guard is finished.”
“Curious people really do exist in every world.”
Tor had never liked to study back on Earth, and while he was impressed by the twins, he also looked at them as if they were something incomprehensible.
It wasn’t the look a guard should be giving to the ones he’s supposed to protect, but the twins didn’t seem to notice as they turned their pages and occasionally asked Tor how to read certain words.
Tor was somehow reminded of being in a school library on Earth.
Of course, the twins were behaving in a way that was, frankly, not proper for a school library. One was reading while lying down, and the other had one leg bent towards her as she sat down and wrote. There was a dictionary balancing expertly on her knee.
While Tor didn’t know which one was Euphie and which was Mailey, the one by the desk called out to him.
“Can you read these letters?”
It was a strangely detailed doodle of a bird with letters written next to it. Tor replied.
“Kougyaku. It could be referring to a ruby or an apple. It depends on the context.”
“Yes, there is a variety of apple with that name.”
She looked a little puzzled but then wrote down ‘ruby’ over the letters.
That was when Tor suddenly noticed something was odd, and began to look at the rest of the letters that had been written down.
They were all names of ore and precious stones. Then he turned to look at the book that the other one was reading.
While she would not have been able to see Tor, she held the book so that the cover was facing him.
It was a book about beautiful minerals.
She moved her gaze away from the book and then looked at Tor with a smile.
“So you noticed.”
“No. I feel that something isn’t right, but I don’t know what it is.”
“You’re surprisingly slow.”
“Yeah, I’m an idiot. Got a problem with that?”
“It is not bad to be ignorant. It is bad to remain ignorant.”
Tor felt a little annoyed by these blistering words, but he made his best guess. Though, with little confidence.
“Is it possible that you two have some kind of shared vision?”
If they had already written down the words that they couldn’t read, it wouldn’t be efficient to be asking Tor questions piecemeal, and it was also strange that one of them was reading the book.
That was his initial guess, but there was also another possibility.
“Either that, or you can share your thoughts.”
“Wonderful. Tor, you aren’t a fool after all.”
“By the way, what led you to that conclusion.”
“Because you two haven’t talked to each other during the time I’ve been here.”
They both smiled at the same time.
“Ever since we were born, we’ve been able to…”
“Share our thoughts. It was as if we were one mind and two bodies.”
“It was a feeling. Of course, now we have our own individual thoughts.”
“And our own will.”
They talked as if finishing each other’s sentences.
Apparently, the truth was that the sister on the bed was reading the book, while the other wrote down the words she could not read, and then asked Tor for help.
It was like that childish dream of having a second body. These two embodied it.
Tor immediately understood how valuable such an ability would be.
“How far away do you have to be in order for it to stop working?”
“It still worked when we were on opposite sides of the city. But we haven’t tested it any farther than that.”
“In other words, it will be possible for people to communicate with each other at a great distance if it’s between you two?”
The two looked at Tor as if he was a particularly attentive student, and chuckled.
“Hehe. The speed and precision that information can be transferred is something a merchant would care about the most.”
“So that’s why Haran hasn’t driven you out or killed you.”
If his purpose was to take over the Ubaz company, then he didn’t need to marry the twins. He could have banished them or have them assassinated.
And while he had considered the possibility that Haran was just too much of a coward, considering what he had done to the living space on the first floor, he was unlikely to hesitate if it was necessary.
After all, surely the twins had hired him because they felt the same.
“Well, there are other reasons as well.”
“Haran is a fool, after all.”
The two looked towards the first floor with cold eyes.
However, they quickly changed gears and turned to Tor with pleasant expressions.
“You’re a lost item, Mister Tor. Shouldn’t we ‘oddities’ stick together?”
“This is just a job. There is no need for us to be friends.”
“But it wouldn’t hurt either. Besides, we are interested in you. First of all, what is school like?”
“Are you from Japan?”
“How does it feel to ride a bicycle?”
“Tell me about video games.”
“What is the internet?”
“What is this dashi they talk about in Japanese cuisine?”
“Have you ever eaten instant noodles?”
The twins started to bombard Tor with questions as if to say, ‘we told you our secret, so now it’s your turn.’
And since he was their guard, he could not run away. Tor sighed and raised his hands in surrender.
“Please, one at a time. Unlike you, I only have one brain and one mouth.”