He was probably around thirteen years old at most. He was a child with a small stature, even smaller than I had expected. His hair color was peculiar. It seemed as if someone had applied multiple layers of paint to his hair, giving it a strangely unsettling color.
Whether he noticed my gaze or not, the boy grimaced and let out a moan. At first, he only twitched his fingers, but as time passed, he mustered enough strength in his arms to desperately reach his hand forward, crawling towards me. His outstretched fingertips finally touched the tip of my shoe.
The boy’s hand collided with my shoe’s tip, and he started to fumble, touching it. Then, he abruptly raised his head, meeting my gaze with his eyes.
Startled, the boy froze. His gaze was fixed on my hair. It was a natural reaction since my eyes and hair color were a mixture of blond, symbolizing birth, and black, symbolizing death.
“…Well, it’s not like I care about it to that extent.”
I belatedly replied to Merchen, staring at the boy’s frozen pupils.
“Really?! So… Can I really take him?”
“No… No, you can’t.”
I wondered what triggered this kind of situation. The boy tightly grasped the hem of my pants with his small, inconspicuous hand. The eye contact he made with me was desperate.
‘I’m sick of clichés, really.’
If I want to avoid clichés like those characters who transmigrated inside a novel, I should avoid picking up clichés altogether. But why did such a banal cliché come to me? A cliché so strong that it could be related to the original story, came to me no matter how hard I tried to avoid it.
Of course, the boy in front of me looked nothing like a character from the original story, especially the male lead. With a small face and relatively large eyes, he resembled a herbivorous animal that would collapse at the slightest touch. He kept biting his lower lip and had his mouth shut.
Although his dull hair color, as if various colors were applied haphazardly, and his eye color gave a messy impression, his refined features erased any unpleasant feelings.
His face resembled that of a rabbit, completely unrelated to the cool handsome man described in the novel, with platinum hair and blue eyes.
Comparing him to the character Hayden Berto, who was currently 17 years old, was nonsense because this kid would be at most 13 years old. However, in the development of the novel, we can never predict things lightly. There was only one answer I could give, which was not to save this child to avoid trouble.
‘To begin with, it’s strange to ‘save’ him. It’s not like he’s going to be tortured or anything.’
If we argue that Merchen had already spent her money to buy the young child, wasn’t it the same as me helping him?
“No, no. Please…”
Whether he understood my inner thoughts or not, the child desperately raised his head and looked at me.
The hand that was tightly gripping on the pants seemed to dig into the inside of the pants, and the delicate skin of the child brushed against my ankle.
It was a warm and soft sensation. That touch shook my determination, but it didn’t change my mind.
I deliberately turned my gaze to Merchen, trying to ignore the child’s earnest gaze.
“You’re going to use him as a servant?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah! Would I lie to you?”
Marchen’s voice as she answered me sounded anxious.
“What…what did you just say?”
Surprised by the unexpected answer, Merchen blinked her eyes and asked again.
Once again, I spoke in a loud voice so that the child waiting below could hear.
“Take him with you. I won’t pay attention to such trivial matters.”
“Really? Are you serious, Louisa?” My words seemed hard to believe, as Merchen tightly held onto my arm, she asked me again.
Her gaze, which looked at me as if trying to get a definite answer, was mixed with puzzlement, joy, and doubt.
Blood was smeared on my arm where she held onto me. It was probably from the corpse she carried just now.
Was it because of that? A strangely annoying emotion surged from my arm that was being held tightly. With a force that made a sound, I forcefully pulled my arm out of her grasp and spoke.
“Did I live by deceiving others? Take him. In exchange…”
Merchen, who was hastily grabbing the child, abruptly stopped.
Why was she trembling and hesitating? Am I some wicked boss who would give some words and take it back?
“Take either that or this one.”
As I gestured towards the sprawled corpse, Merchen casually pushed it away with her foot. Then, as if nothing had happened, she nodded her head nonchalantly.
“Of course. What is that? Was it originally mine? Hoho.”
And she easily placed the boy on her shoulder.
“Please, save me, save me…”
“Oh dear, this child. Who said I would kill you? You just have to clean my house.” Merchen responded kindly to the child, who was desperately reaching out to me. However, the child’s eyes were solely fixed on me.
‘Why? Why is he desperately clinging to me?’
It was bewildering. Why was he desperately clinging to me? From appearances alone, wouldn’t I seem scary?
While I was wondering if my appearance had changed unnoticeably, Merchen quickly covered the child’s eyes.
“I’ll go now. My house is quite messy.”
She clearly showed that she was saying that because she thought I might change my mind.
Merchen, who firmly held onto the struggling child, hastily left the spot.
The plea for help from the child faintly echoed in my ears.
“Please, save me!”
I’m not fond of this kind of thing. I don’t really want to hear things I don’t want to hear. So, I made an effort to erase the voice ringing in my ears and headed home. It didn’t take long for me to arrive.
Dragging my unusually tired body, I entered the shower and turned on the water, when the plan to revisit the battlefield flashed through my mind.
“Ah, forget it. Let’s just rest.”
After taking a shower, why should I go out again? It doesn’t make sense. I turned the shower on harder. Whether it was about the battlefield or the child I just met, I need to let it all be washed away.
As I emerged from the shower, drenched as if caught on a fierce waterfall, my mind went completely blank. I couldn’t think of anything at all.
Feeling refreshed, I stepped out of the shower and looked at the setting sun outside while finally cutting a piece of beef steak, which I hadn’t had in a long time.
Indeed, beef was the king of meats. The taste was fantastic. And when I added wine to it, it seemed like a reasonably satisfying way to end the day.
However, no matter what kind of world this world was, it was a frustrating world where I couldn’t avoid various flags as a transmigrated person.
I kept gathering specks of dust and made a mountain, collecting small clichés to make a massive flag.
This world unconditionally kept planting trauma flags on me.
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