The awkward silence was broken after a brief moment. Sensing the man’s eyes shifting towards the door as if he wanted to run away, I hastily shouted, “It’s not a strange place! It’s just the name, only the name…!”
“…This island, which area of the sea is it located in?”
“A-area of the sea?”
East Sea, West Sea, South Sea. Was he asking about that? I had never even considered where this island existed or which area of the sea it belonged to. The only thing I was certain about was that this place was the setting for my second life, not my original world. So, I had nothing to tell the man.
Stopping my fingers that had been nervously tapping on my thighs, I took a deep breath and calmly replied, “Um, I don’t really know either. I didn’t come here by choice, so…”
“If you didn’t come here by choice, does that mean someone brought you to this place? Like a kidnapping?”
“Oh, no, it’s not like that at all. I was brought here, but it’s definitely not a kidnapping!”
“…If it’s not too much trouble, I would like to meet someone else, if possible.”
“Oh, well, uh, I live alone on this island, so…”
The man’s gaze narrowed. Even from my perspective, it seemed suspicious and not possible. If I had more social skills, I could have explained the situation better.
The man stroked his chin and after a moment of thought, then said in a gruff voice, “Miss Yuri… you said. According to what you said, I was caught on a fishing line yesterday. But if there’s no one on this island, how on earth did you manage to bring me here? It’s not like there’s a carriage available in a place like this.”
“Yes? Ah, I brought you here by carrying you.”
“…By carrying me?”
The man’s eyes slowly scanned me from top to bottom. The meaning behind that gaze was clear. What kind of trick was I trying to pull?
It seemed that showing him directly would be faster than explaining a hundred times over. Should I carry him like I did yesterday?
While contemplating the best posture to use, I found myself scanning him from top to bottom. Suddenly, as if he had finished organizing his thoughts, the man nodded.
“Alright, I understand for now. So, you’re living alone in this secluded island called Trapped Island, not knowing which area of the sea it’s in and how you caught me with a fishing line while I was on the sea.”
“In that case, Miss Yuri, do you not know who I am?”
“Ah, no. I saw you for the first time yesterday. Are you someone famous?”
The man, who had been looking at me directly until now, suddenly averted his gaze as if feigning ignorance. I was taken aback by his blatantly suspicious behavior. Come to think of it, as soon as he opened his eyes, he asked why I saved him and told me to let him die since he had nothing. Could it be that he was some sort of wanted criminal…?
In a moment of distress, the man hesitated, and it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t even heard his name.
“Um… What’s your name?”
The man’s gaze returned to me. His eyes were suddenly expressive, it was almost scary.
Unintentionally, I flinched and shrunk my shoulder as the man’s expression suddenly turned pitiful. Yes, like a drenched puppy, he lowered his eyes.
“I… I don’t remember.”
“I don’t know. I don’t remember anything. Not even my name, what kind of person I was, or why I got caught on a fishing line.”
What’s this person saying? Until a moment ago, there was no sign of such behavior while we were talking. If he lost his memory, he would be confused and unable to speak so well… Could that be possible? I’ve never experienced it, so I don’t know.
However, that was not the only suspicious thing. If he claimed to have no memories of falling into the sea, it means he knows what he was doing before that.
Feeling that he has something to hide, I was puzzled about how to react to such blatant lies.
The man reached out and grabbed my hand. The blanked fluttered and revealed his upper body, I was taken aback and quickly lowered my gaze.
“I have nowhere to go and no one to rely on, so I think I’ll need your favor for a while, Miss Yuri. If it’s not too much trouble, that is.”
“Uh, well, it’s, it’s okay…!”
“Thank you very much. You’re truly a kind person. Then, right now, may I make one request?”
“Ah, yes. What…?”
“By any chance, if you have a Helmet Flower root or Amantia mushroom or a pufferfish, could you bring it to me?”
…What does he want to do with those?
His expression and tone were calm, but his words were strange, so I blinked with a blank expression.
From plants, crops to fish and ores, this place was essentially created based on the knowledge I have. So, I knew that Helmet Flower roots, Amantia mushroom, and pufferfish could be poisonous. Fortunately, dangerous plants didn’t grow on this island, so they didn’t exist.
Whether he noticed my surprise or not, the man casually continued speaking, “Oh, what I mentioned might be difficult to find on the island or you might not recognize the appearance. Then, do you have any Belladonna flowers? Or perhaps a mushroom that is reddish and horn-shaped, or a mushroom that is pure white and has no gills…”
“W-Wait a minute. Why do you need those?”
“Hanging myself or cutting my artery would make it difficult to clean up afterward, and jumping into the sea is not an option because my physical condition is bad that even walking alone is difficult. So, um, since you brought me here by yourself, when I die, please throw my body into the sea.”
While I was astonished, the man chuckled self-deprecatingly.
I belatedly recalled the name and content of the quest that changed as soon as the man opened his eyes.
The stranded stranger who wants to die.
Instinctively, I clenched my fist around the edge of my clothes, grabbing it with strength.
“I refuse.” The voice that came out of me was unexpectedly sharp, making the man’s smile disappear from his face.
My heart kept pounding. After taking several deep breaths, I said firmly, “I-I don’t know what your circumstances are, but I can never fulfill such a request.”
“I see. I understand. Then, just as I mentioned, until my body recovers…”
“On this island, there are no poisonous flowers or mushrooms. There’s no pufferfish either. So even if you try to find them yourself after you recover, it will be pointless.”
What worried me was him jumping into the sea, but as the man said with his own mouth, it would be difficult for him to go alone to the beach right now. The man remained silent for a while. But soon, he gave a forced smiled and replied, “I’m feeling a bit tired. Is it okay if I rest alone?”
“Thank you. And… the food, it was good.”
Instead of answering, I awkwardly smiled, threw some firewood into the fireplace, and left the room. As I closed the door, a sigh escaped me.
I don’t know what circumstances the man was facing. Although I was curious, I didn’t have the energy to pry. It seemed like my heart kept getting involved, maybe because he resembled my past self.
Moreover, the system window told me to save the man and give meaning to his life. Could there be a reason why a man who has never jumped into the sea got caught on my fishing rod?
My thoughts were jumbled, and I knew that I needed some time alone in this state.
With little appetite, I ate my breakfast with strawberry juice and patted my cheek before leaving the house. First and foremost, I had to finish my work.
I first watered the field. Although there was a sprinkler, ever since I downsized, I had been doing it manually. Automation was convenient, but it feels somewhat monotonous.
After watering diligently, I released the animals outside today since the weather was good, and I checked on each of them one by one. Their wool had grown quite a bit, so I took scissors and gave them a neat trim.
When I returned to the back of the house, carrying the abundant wool in my arms, I noticed the man attempting to escape through the window.
His silver hair was drenched in sweat, disheveled and clinging to his face. His forehead was furrowed as if in pain, and his lips had turned pale. His pale skin was radiant under the sunlight.
Our eyes met directly as he hung precariously from the window, gasping for breath.
“W-What are you doing there…?”
In an instant, the expression vanished from his face. The man avoided eye contact and responded as if nothing had happened.
“…Are you a plant?”
It was clear to anyone that it was a scene of being caught while attempting to escape secretly, but whether he was aware of this or not, his ears peeking through his hair were turning red.
The man seemed to have neither the energy to climb over the window nor the will to go back.
I placed the wool I was holding on the spinning wheel next to the house and approached the window. His upper body was bare, but he had a blanket wrapped around his lower body. Still, it was awkward to look directly at him, so I tilted my gaze and said, “Um, I washed the clothes you were wearing yesterday. Since it’s spring on this island, if you wear those again, it might be… too hot, right? So, I’ll make you some clothes, please wait a little while.”
In addition to cooking, sewing and tailoring were also easy on the island. Spinning the wool on the spinning wheel produced yarn, and weaving the yarn on the loom created fabric. The fabric woven with phoenix feathers, which I obtained through a different quest, were also made that way.
If I wanted to dye the fabric, I could soak it in dyes made from crushed flowers, gems, or plants. And if I wanted to add patterns, I just needed to weave it on the loom again. Thinking about the shape, I put the fabric on the sewing machine, and the clothes that matched my imagination were created.
Spinning the wool on the spinning wheel right now was just part of the routine after shearing the wool, and there was a box in the basement where I kept the fabric separately, so I could make clothes right away.
At my words, the man glanced at me briefly, then pulled the blanket down his lower body. Then, he whispered very softly, “…Could I at least have my underwear first?”
I silently screamed and hurriedly ran to the dryer to fetch the freshly dried underwear for the man. Of course, neither of us made eye contact even once.
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