“So, you can tell me everything.”
Even if it was resentment, it was fine. I want to provide a safe place for him to vent his feelings.
Up until now, no one would have given that to him.
Albert burst into tears.
“Uwaahh… Why did you save me… Why did you save me…!”
Like a child crying for the first time in his life, Albert let out everything here and now. The constant stream of tears running down his eyes made me fear that he’d get dehydrated.
This was proof enough that he had not met a single person to talk to all this time, and I couldn’t help but sympathize with him.
I gently tugged Albert’s hands from his eyes as he was wiping them, then I pulled him to me and hugged him tightly.
I held him like that for a long time, until he stopped crying.
His face had turned as bright red as a ripe strawberry. As he cried, I consoled him and consoled him again.
After a while, as Albert barely managed to calm down, he shivered.
It was midwinter in this place.
He was a child who had entered an icy lake and couldn’t even dry himself properly. There’s no way that he could return to his normal body temperature.
I had to take him to his residence quickly.
Albert couldn’t have come all the way here alone from the Count’s residence… Then he must have come from a villa.
It shouldn’t be that far from here.
“Albert, where is the villa?”
Albert said nothing and only shivered. While still cradling him in my arms, I drew back a little to look at him.
“If you’re still thinking of doing something foolish, I’m not going to let you go. I’m gonna keep you in my arms and run like that.”
“…I don’t wanna.”
“A piggy-back ride, then.”
“Don’t wanna. Why should I?”
“You’ve been crying in my arms until just now though?”
It seemed like he was still holding onto his pride, but it’s adorable to see him blushing at my words.
Before he could say anything more, I carried Albert on my back.
Being in the state of a soul was convenient in many ways. Even as I was carrying him on my back like this, I couldn’t feel his weight.
I also just got in and out of an icy lake but I couldn’t feel any pain.
However, thinking about pain reminded me of Blanc, and I quickly felt grim.
‘How is Blanc doing?’
I needed time to think about both my own ordeal and Blanc as well. I had to know if I could communicate with him somehow.
[ Blanc, are you alright? I don’t know what happened, but I’m in the past right now. ]
I delivered a message to Blanc through telepathy, but I received no replies.
While it’s true that being in a spectral state made it so that I didn’t feel any pain, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated because I had no idea how much pain Blanc must be feeling right now.
For now, the priority was to take Albert to the villa so that he could rest. His life was in danger right now.
As Albert was keeping his mouth shut, I spoke to him sternly.
“Tell me where the villa is. If you won’t, I’ll knock on all the doors of the mansions in this area and say, ‘Albert Grey is sick, please treat him quickly’.”
“You’re the only one who’ll look disgraceful. Do you think the nobles will let me in?”
Albert answered harshly. I was so used to his gentle voice, and it was a new experience to hear this rebellious, adolescent tone of his.
It felt like he was a kitten who’s wary of strangers. He wasn’t a threat at all.
“I won’t ever tell you.”
The rough tone in which he spoke obviously made him sound angry, but of course, it only sounded ridiculous to me. After all, I’d been trained by the Albert of the future.
Shrugging, I turned my head slightly and looked at him.
“You’ll look more disgraceful than me though? I’ll be going around kicking up a fuss in front of everyone who we’ll meet from now on, telling them that they have to save you. All the while, they’ll see just how much you’ve collapsed.”
Albert bit his lips as if my words had hit the nail on the head.
What I said obviously irked him. I never thought I’d see this sight.
“Still though, because you’re so handsome, you’ll attract everyone’s attention nonetheless. How sad would people be to see how ill you are? I’m not going to feel ashamed at all. I can do it over and over again.”
Albert blinked back in surprise. Was what I said so shocking?
He murmured in a small voice as he looked slightly away.
His face seemed redder than before.
“…How can you say that so easily?”
“…That I’m handsome.”
“Because you are handsome?”
Speechless, Albert buried his face against my back. There was only one reason to explain his reaction.
…No way, you’re feeling embarrassed? Just because I said you’re handsome?
It seemed like Albert still wasn’t immune to the word ‘handsome’ while he was young.
As he’d grow up though, I had no doubt that he’d constantly hear such praises.
I was used to Albert taking my compliments in stride each and every time. It’s so new to see him respond this way.
“Albert, you’re so handsome. If you’re already this handsome as a child…”
Ahh, I want to tell you more! They say that compliments did good for a person’s self-esteem.
Before I could open my lips again, Albert hurriedly cut in.
“Go past the lake cliff and the forest and you’ll find a trail. The villa is at the end.”
I didn’t think that calling him handsome would be what would urge him to tell me in the end.
Once I tell this story to the future Albert, I wonder what he’ll say?
“I see. Thank you, Albert.”
“…Don’t thank me after threatening me like that.”
“Threatening you?! If you twist my intentions like that, you’ll make me feel sad. I just think that you’re so handsome and so pretty and so lovable and—”
Smiling softly, I began to run down the direction he was pointing towards.
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