42 – Sudden Turn
I felt something cold against my face, and jumped up.
Where am I?
Much to my confusion, I was in a completely unfamiliar room.
“Woah, huh? What?”
Kuro was licking my face. And then he slapped me with his paw several times before barking as if exasperated.
Wait, wait. What the hell had happened?
Yesterday, I think… Yes. Mr. Grafios had taken me to a tavern, and I had my first beer in many years and… Huh?
I could not remember anything after that. What happened!?
“…Losing your memory after drinking…”
Was this body just that much weaker to drink?
In any case, I suppose I was at the same inn then?
I went out of the room and walked down the stairs. And there was the same bartender as yesterday. ‘You’re finally up.’ He said with a sigh.
Ah, there was no doubt about it now.
“Uh, sorry for any trouble I caused…”
“Bah, it happens all of the time here.”
‘More importantly,’ he muttered as he placed a mobile device on the table.
“Is this yours?”
Recently, I had bought it with my own money.
They were commonly referred to as physiphones. When Ms. Iria and Ms. Sherry found out that I didn’t have one, they took me shopping, and I just got the one that they had recommended.
As for how to use it… To be honest, I couldn’t do much. But at least I could call other people…
Because the phones here were completely different to the ones I used to have. Well, it was no surprise, as this was a different world. So this was what it was like to be mechanically inept.
“It rang many times. And then Mr. Grafios answered for you, but his face turned pale and he ran out.”
What the hell did that mean?
I quickly checked the device, and it was just as he said. There was a long list of missed calls. Not only that, but they were all from the Count. As for the time, it was late last night.
I frantically called him back.
‘…Is this Yukito?’
“Yes, I’m sorry. I somehow didn’t notice that my phone was ringing.”
Something was strange. There was exhaustion in the Count’s voice.
I glanced over to the clock. It was seven in the morning. There was still time before the tournament.
“What is it? Did something happen?”
‘Well…it’s just that…Iria is missing.’
My eyes widened when I heard the Count’s words.
He said that Iria had gone missing last night, at around eight o’clock.
The last time she was seen was near the bus stop in the new city district.
Once it was ten o’clock and Iria had still not returned, her mother became worried and tried to call her. However, she could not get a hold of Iria.
At that point, someone also contacted the Count. It was Sherry Relei.
According to her, Iria had suddenly run off at the bus stop. She had said that she just remembered something.
However, a moment earlier, a strange man had passed her by.
And after thinking about it, Sherry said that it seemed like Iria might be chasing after him.
“…I should have stopped her. I’m so sorry, Count… I don’t know what I can say…”
“No, it is not your fault. My daughter left by her own will, yes? Then it would have been useless to try and stop her.”
While he had a bad feeling about it, he still did not intend to blow things out of proportion.
Until Ms. Sherry said the next part.
“Now that I think about it, he had a tattoo on his neck… I only saw it briefly, but I think it was a butterfly…”
He became quite frantic after that, and tried to contact me.
As Grafios had picked up the phone, everything was explained to him, and he started the search by the Count’s request.
And now, here we were.
To think that such a thing had happened.
I felt a chill down my spine.
“…Ms. Iria has not been found yet?”
‘Aye. She has not…’
“And this man with the butterfly tattoo. He is familiar to you?”
The Count was silent for some time and then answered, ‘He is.’
“In any case, I’ll head over to the house now. We can talk there.”
This was bad. I was so late.
Damn it. Why did I drink last night!
I rushed out of the tavern and ran as fast as I could.