We’ve arrived at our destination. It might not look like a modern Japanese store with products neatly displayed, but if you asked ten people, all ten would say it’s a shop.
There are no shop signs, but there’s a sense of people in the back. It seems like we arrived just when people were out.
A distant male voice is heard, and footsteps approach.
When the man shows up at the shop, he is surprised by the number of people and after a quick look around, he spots me and is even more surprised.
“Aldo-sama! Why are you here?”
“I’m sorry, Tab. I have a favor to ask.”
I felt bad for springing it on him so suddenly, but I proceeded to explain everything that happened today to Tab in detail.
Tab remained motionless, listening to the story, but his expression was quite stern. He probably could imagine what my request would be.
After finishing the whole story, I was about to make my impossible request.
“Tab, how much of a share from Reversi’s profit will I get?”
We stared at each other in silence.
“…I apologize. I have already paid 30% of the profit to Lord Roland, the butler. I don’t have any plans to pay you personally…”
Tab is running a legitimate business. It’s me who’s making an unreasonable request, appealing to his emotions.
“I see, I asked for too much…”
“No, I’m the one who should apologize.”
When it seemed like all hope was lost and I was about to leave my seat, Ashera suddenly stepped forward.
“I haven’t forgiven you.”
“This person, he’s from that time when it was my birthday, right?”
“I haven’t forgiven him for what happened that day. He helped Aldo, but he ignored other people’s children. I will never forgive someone like that!”
The atmosphere in the room changed.
“Tab, I want you to lend me money.”
“Convert the church into an orphanage, for five…no, ten children, and provide the funds for their monthly meals.”
“I won’t ask for it for free. El and I will be your guarantors.”
“One of us will be the future lord. There’s no better guarantor than that.”
“Aldo-sama, I give in.”
Tab raised both of his hands in surrender.
“Let’s pay 10% of the amount I’m currently paying to Roland-sama to the church. In return, I’ll ask for your help in dealing with Roland-sama.”
“You’re in a hurry, no? Let’s prepare and head to the church with emergency supplies.”
“Can you do it?”
“Leave it to me. I’ll get ready right away.”
“I appreciate it. This is a debt to you, Tab.”
Tab looked at Ashera upon hearing my words.
“I had a debt too. A very big one… I almost forgot about it until the young lady there reminded me. I’m glad I didn’t become an ingrate. Thank you, young lady.”
“Debts should be repaid, it’s only natural.”
“That’s right… You’re absolutely right!”
Saying that, Tab went to make preparations.
From there, Tab’s actions were impressive. He managed to gather food, clothing, blankets, and basic medicine in about an hour.
“All right, Aldo-sama, shall we go?”
“Yeah, do you know the way?”
“Roughly. When we get closer, I’ll ask for directions.”
Two employees from Tab’s shop, Tab, Marl, and I, a total of four people, loaded the supplies onto a carriage. The journey proceeded smoothly, and we reached the church without any issues.
“Everyone, wait here.”
“No, I’m going with you.”
Garl and I entered the church together.
“Is anyone here?”
Still no response… Just some lifeless figures… (cough, cough)
I wondered what to do, and as I was contemplating, I heard a noise and the door opened.
“Yes, may I help you with something?”
It was the sister who had been lying in a bed earlier.
“I’m sorry for the sudden intrusion. Could we have a conversation?”
A well-dressed 9-year-old like me suddenly appearing and asking to talk… The sister was visibly flustered.
“Of course… Please, come in.”
Despite her unease, the sister allowed us inside. Then a child in a robe appeared and yelled at me.
“You! You’re the one from earlier, right? There’s no more Apo’s Fruit, so get out of here!”
Judging from the child’s behavior and my appearance, the sister seemed to think I had come for revenge.
“Is he the one who had Apo’s Fruit stolen from them? I’m truly sorry.”
“I’m in charge of these children. I’ll take the punishment on their behalf.”
“That’s not it. I just… I wanted you to save them.”
I couldn’t find the right words to explain.
“Ah, can I say something?”
“Sister, listen to me. This guy isn’t here to do anything to you. In fact, he’s trying to provide food and clothing.”
“Yeah, it’s in the carriage outside. Can I continue? This guy is the son of a high-ranking individual. He’s a real softie. And this softie is saying he wants to help you guys.”
“Yeah, now it’s up to you whether you’ll accept the help or not. I’m sorry, but we need a quick answer.”
“If you’re really willing to help, then we have no further requests. Can you assure that the children, especially that boy Yamato, won’t be harmed?”
“That’s something I, a knight, can guarantee. The children won’t be harmed in any way.”
“In that case… Thank you very much.”
“All right, it’s settled, Al.”
“Thank you, Garl. You’re a lifesaver.”
Garl and I returned to the carriage once, and I explained what we had just discussed.
“Let’s get started and prepare some simple dishes.”
“I’ll help too.”
It seems Marl and El will be preparing the food.
“We had a pot, right?”
“It should be there.”
“In that case, I’ll make hot water and bathe the children.”
“Got it. Counting on you, Ashera.”
Ashera is the only magic user among us. She’ll use magic to create hot water and bathe the children.
“Then we’ll start by bringing the supplies inside and doing some cleaning and emergency repairs on the building.”
“Got it, Tab.”
Tab and his two employees walked away.
Berett and Garl didn’t engage in any work. Instead, they acted as guards, keeping an eye on me, El, and Ashera.
I realized something through this experience. In the end, I’m still just a kid. I can enhance my physical abilities and start learning about daggers, but that’s about it. I’m just a kid with slightly higher combat skills.
I needed the help of so many people to save just one child…
As everyone busied themselves, I couldn’t help but think about this.
Apparently, Gal noticed my thoughts and came over to talk to me.
“What’s wrong, Al-boy?”
“Well, in the end, I couldn’t do anything on my own, and it makes me think that I’m still just a kid.”
“Of course, you are… What’s a 9-year-old kid saying that for? You’re just a cheeky brat.”
“Is it really that obvious…”
“Yeah, it’s obvious. There aren’t that many things a 9-year-old can do on their own. But it was you who got all these people to move. Stand tall and be proud.”
“You’re right… I guess I am. Thanks, Garl.”
Garl raised his hand in silence and returned to his guard duty.
It’s getting close to dusk—–
“Thank you very much.”
“It’s thanks to everyone. I haven’t done anything.”
Sister expresses her gratitude to me, but my contribution was minimal.
“Thank you very much to all of you. With this, the children won’t go hungry.”
She seemed relieved. I could see a glint in the sister’s eyes.
“Okay, we’ll leave the rest to you, Tab. Please keep us updated regularly.”
Without mentioning my name, Tab replied.
“Let’s head back, then.”
As I said that, a child came forward. It was Yamato, who now looked much cleaner than before.
“Oi! I’m sorry about the Apo fruit… and thank you…”
He mumbled quietly and quickly ran away.
(He softened up pretty quickly, huh. Tsundere Yamato.)
I chuckled as we set off on our way back.
On the way home, El and Marl seemed to be getting along quite well. Marl, a 9-year-old girl like us, with golden hair and slightly stern eyes, was striking up a conversation with El.
Observing their interactions, we all looked interested, while Tab seemed a bit worried.
As we approached the fork in the road where we would part ways with Tab and his group, I expressed my gratitude for their help today.
“Tab, thank you so much for today.”
“No, I’m just returning the favor.”
“Even so, thank you.”
“If you ever encounter any trouble, please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time.”
I didn’t feel the need to express my gratitude to Tab further. This time, I was the one who received help, but if he ever finds himself in trouble, I intend to lend my support.
Feeling content and leisurely walking, we soon arrived back at our estate.
“Garl, Berett, I’m sorry for dragging you around on your day off. I really appreciate your help today. Thank you.”
“Garl, Berett, thank you.”
“Thank you. We really appreciate it.”
In front of the estate, I thanked Garl and Berettfor their protection today.
“What’s with you? I can guard you again anytime…”
Perhaps he had been concerned about what happened during the day, as Garl said this.
“You too, going all soft. I’ll count on you for protection again. If possible, I’d like Garl and Berett as our guards.”
“Soft? Well, whatever. Yeah, I’ll guard you again.”
Berett also smiled at my request.
“Fufu. I really enjoyed guarding you today. Please count on us again.”
Back at the estate, I needed to discuss today’s events and also talk to my father and Roland about paying 10% of Reversi’s profits to the church.
“Welcome back, all three of you.”
Mom greeted the three of us as we returned. We headed straight to the dining room as dinner was ready.
Father was already waiting for us in the dining room.
“Welcome back, all three of you. Did you have a good time?”
“Yes, Father. We had a wonderful time.”
“Yes, thank you for today, Joshua-sama.”
El and Ashera cheerfully responded to Father’s questions. Seeing my demeanor, Father wore a subtle expression of “What happened now?”
“Haa… Al, what’s the matter?”
“Actually, I have a favor to ask you.
“I’m so scared about what you’re going to say… but let’s hear it.”
I didn’t hide anything and told him everything that happened today, including my thoughts and feelings along the way.
Father listened attentively to my story without saying a word.
“…So, I’d like to donate 10% of Reversi’s profits to the church.”
“I see, I understand the story. Reversi is indeed something you came up with, and you have the right to manage the profits.”
“However, it’s not something a 9-year-old child should do. In a way, it’s an overstep of boundaries towards me and your father.”
“Overstep? I didn’t mean it like that…”
“You didn’t mean it that way? Al, this time it’s a matter within our territory. We can resolve it within the family. However, it won’t be the same in other territories. It could even lead to conflict.”
Father continued to speak.
“Al, you have too much power. Ordinary people may think about it, but they lack the ability to act on it. That’s the same for a lord’s child. You did something that even as a future lord, you shouldn’t have. I’m proud that you’re a kind person who helps those in need, but please have a humble attitude when dealing with matters, while also being aware of your power.”
“I understand. I’m sorry, Father.”
“And it would make me happier if you consulted with me before taking action.”
“Yes, I’ll rely more on you, Father.”
“Ugh… please don’t go overboard…”
It seemed I managed to get his forgiveness somehow.
“Roland, I think you heard the discussion just now. I’ll leave the matter with the church to you.”
“Of course, Joshua-sama.”
It seemed this time everything had been resolved amicably.
However, I couldn’t help but daydream about the day when I might have to abandon someone.