Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 6 – Intersection
“It’s alright, it’s alright. Here, doesn’t this make it hurt a little less?”
While patting the head of the girl sobbing and complaining of pain, the red haired boy tied a piece of wood to her leg and finished treating her.
“How is it? Does it still hurt?”
“It huuurts! Mommy! Daddy!”
Somehow, the efforts of the boy to console her had made her cries grow even louder. Growing more and more bewildered, the boy waved his hands nervously.
“I’m here to save you, kids.”
Just as the boy was about to burst into tears, Archer raised his voice from behind him. The boy was so surprised at the sudden call he sprung up five centimeters from the ground.
“Wh-, who are you, Mister!?”
“Mister…huh… Well, I’m a firefighter. I’ve come to help you two.”
Archer smiled to hopefully put them at ease. Upon hearing that, the eyes of the boy and girl regained a glimmer of hope.
“Ahh… Can I see my daddy?”
“Huh? …Yeah. It’s alright. You’ll see your daddy. I’m sure he’s looking for you too.”
After he had confirmed that there were many injured but no dead, Archer felt confident answering so. When she heard that, the girl toppled over, as if a thread had been cut.
“Ah, uwah! A-, are you okay?”
Archer crouched and lightly examined the girl’s physical condition.
“It’s fine. She just lost consciousness at being relieved from a state of extreme stress.”
“…Oh, okay. Phew…”
The boy then also sank to the floor.
Just to be safe, Archer also gave a quick look over the body of the boy. His jacket, perhaps because it had been used in treating the girl’s leg, was torn and battered, but he didn’t appear to have any type of physical injury.
“Okay then. Did you treat her?”
The girl’s left foot had been treated in a surprisingly proper manner. It was rather impressive.
“Huh? Oh, yeah, I’ve always been, well… Good at finding and fixing what’s wrong. I got interested in helping treat my friends when they’re injured and stuff, and I read a bunch of books and studied by copying the Boy Scout leaders and stuff like that.”
The boy proudly rubbed his nose.
“Ooh. You’re quite the young man.”
It was truly impressive. He was a child about the same age as Rin. There were still traces of mischief in his face, but the curious boy had a somehow mature air.
“Heh heh… It’s nothing much. More importantly, I wanna make sure this girl reunites with her mom and dad soon. I’ll take her.”
The boy shouted once, and with a hop, stood up, carrying the sleeping girl on his back.
“Oh, can I come along?”
“Mister, you’re in the fire department, right? …Huh? But you’re not wearing a uniform. Are you really a firefighter?”
He showed considerable discernment, or rather, the question cut to the heart of the matter. Until now Archer had forcibly gained approval through his actions, but at a glance he was a normal person.
“Well, something like a firefighter.”
He answered with a wry smile, and the boy consented with a shrug.
“Then I’ll carry this girl. Since you can do it a lot better than I can, Mister, you go save more people in the meantime… ‘Cause, well…It looks like you can do stuff I can’t. You made her stop crying, and calm down…”
Smiling bitterly and gazing at the girl’s sleeping face, the boy included several bits of self-derision.
“So, you go save the people who might still be here, Mister. I’ll do what I can. …Okay?”
“…I guess so…”
Slightly amazed, Archer looked at the boy’s face. That boy’s smiling face held a strength far beyond his years.
“Alright. I’ll do what I can do.”
“Okay, then good luck, Mister!”
“…I’d like it if you stop with the whole ‘Mister’ thing, but… alright.”
The two exchanged glances and laughed.
One one hand, there was Archer, and on the other, the boy carrying the girl on his back.
In order for each to accomplish what they must, they began running. Running down the path they have to take.
Midway, Archer stopped moving and gazed in the direction the boy had left. He hadn’t asked for his name.
“…Well, that’s fine, I guess.”
Storing the impressive boy in a corner of his mind, Archer ran through the restaurant floor. He searched for people seeking rescue.
Together With House Husband Part 2, Chapter 6
The red haired boy.
An unusually mature, mysterious young boy leaves a strong impression and then parts with the Knight of the Bow. Their paths have not yet crossed.