LE V1 (Main) C3-2
Chapter 3 – Night, then morning – Part 2
“……Five more minutes.”
“I don’t know how long five minutes is.”
“A time that never comes.”
“If sleep outside for that long you might die.”
I opened my eyes and the sun was high enough for me to notice even in this thick forest.
All of a sudden, blood rushed to my head and my mind snapped to attention.
When I sat up and looked forward I saw a blonde girl wearing the cheap t-shirt and pants that I wore when I slept. Thinking that it was a pity her hair was so messy, I tried digging into up my memories.
“Is that your name?”
“No. My name has…. been erased.”
What. Was she disowned or something?
As I ran all sorts of scenarios through my head I heard a ‘gurgle’ ring loud and clear. It came from the stomach of the girl in front of me.
The girl’s face that up till now had always been expressionlessexpresionless and cool turned slightly reddish.
“That reminds me, you haven’t eaten, right? Hold on.”
I opened the truck for something to eat, but unfortunately there was no rice. I first took out some choco-pies(1), 3 packets of noodles, a rice drink, paper cups and chopsticks.
“Eat this for now.”
I put three choco-pies in the girl’s hand, and placed the 1.5L rice drink by her feet.
I collected some stones from the surroundings and arranged them into a circle, and placed some dry-looking tree branches in the middle. I poured water into the camping pot that I’d brought just in case, and lit the branches up with my lighter.
It looked simple, but the fact that the wood didn’t catch fire as well as I expected meant that it took some time just to start the fire.
“What are you doing?”
I’d just finished the preparations when I noticed the girl eating the choco-pies, complete with the packaging.
“If you’re can eat and digest that you’re a greater force of nature than nature itself.”
Because you’d be doing over 200 years’ worth of nature’s work in a single day.
“What’s your name. I’m calling you ‘girl, girl’ all the time and something feels off.”
“I’m talking to you.”
“My….. original name was Flute.”
That’s the same name as an instrument I like.
“My name’s Lee Jinsu. No, don’t chew on that.”
Why do you keep on chewing the plastic.
I crept over to Flute’s side, opened the plastic wrap and pushed the remains of the choco-pie into her mouth.
Flute’s emotionless eyes turned extremely wide.
“!!! It’s incredibly delicious.”
Well, they said the Russian president liked it as well.
Flute started eating through the rest of them extremely quickly, and I ended up handing over the entire box to her. Maybe some got caught in her throat as she started thumping her chest with her fern-like fists.
“Ha…. I’m not going to take it away so chew properly before you swallow.”
I sighed before pouring out the rice drink into a cup. Flute half-snatched half-received the cup, gulped down the contents and let out a deep breath.
Looking on at her I noticed the water had started boiling so I prepared to boil the noodles.
Seeing as how Flute was scarfing down the choco-pies it didn’t seem like she’d have much room for noodles, but if it was just the noodles I could handle at least three on my own so it’d be fine, since we’re all really hungry right now.
Three minutes passed and the noodles were done,
“If you’re still hungry you can have…”
I was at a loss for words. Having demolished an entire box of choco-pies and a 1.5L rice drink, she was sitting there elegantly, looking at me.
“Okay then. She’s in her growth phase.”
I gave her a paper cup and chopsticks and started filling up by own empty stomach.
Noodles are tasty no matter when you have them.
Flute had grabbed the chopsticks with extremely awkward hands, the noodles kept slipping through them and she couldn’t eat them properly. Well…….. Looking at her she seems to be a Westerner, but considering the Korean patch I would have thought that a chopstick patch would’ve been a thing as well but apparently not.
I picked up some noodles with my own chopsticks and brought them to Flute’s mouth, she seemed a bit hesitant before she tossed her disheveled hair back and carefully slurped away. What can I say, she felt kinda like a younger cousin(2) so she was really cute.
“Do you want more?”
She looked at a faraway mountain all of a sudden. I don’t think you can see the mountains from here?
I didn’t know whether I should feed a starving kid so much so suddenly, but it didn’t seem that common sense worked in this world so I just let her be. After all, the primary school kids of this world can easily eat five people’s worth, no?
“Tell me if you’re full. Don’t refuse.”
In the end Flute didn’t stop until she’d finished all three packets’ worth of noodles. All I’d eaten was the one mouthful right at the beginning. I should probably open a packet of biscuits on the way out. Drink some of the noodle broth as well.
Kids these days see to eat really well. An entire box of choco-pies, 1.5L rice drink, three noodles. Even I don’t think I can eat that much…
After filling our bellies I dumped the rest of the broth and washed the pot out with water. The rest of the trash I buried in the ground. I can’t keep something smelling of noodle soup in the car. Environmental pollution? How clean are you?
Alright. Self-rationalisation complete.
“Oh. That’s alright. I felt full just looking at you eat.”
She’s not making fun of me with that smirk, but that’s genuine. How starved was she…… Were the pitiful thoughts that went through my mind.
The lessons that father taught to me as an adult were ‘be weak to the strong, kind to the weak.’ Fighting against strong people can be left to warriors of justice, and not making enemies was the best, and I agree.
“Were you the one that treated me?”
“Hm? Ah. Yep.”
The situation from last night came up again in my head. And I was pissed. Of course most of that anger was directed at myself, but I shouldn’t hold back from telling her. Even if she’s just a kid.
“If you’re hurt then you should say so. You were groaning all night. What would have happened if something went wrong?”
But I didn’t raise my voice and instead spoke calmly and placidly, because I wondered whether or not I even had the rights to be angry. Although I didn’t know much about Flute, I still had this baseless belief that if I told her calmly she’d understand me.
“Because I thought that way I could be free from the pain.”
“How can you say those things so matter-of-factly…….”
Damn this is stifling.
Just what on earth has she gone through.
Can I ask her?
I’m worried whether I’d hurt her even more.
But still, knowing would probably be better.
(1) Popular snack in Korea. Looks something like this: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Chocolate_Pie.jpg
(2) I do notice the pains the author took to not say little sister… lel.
Edit: Illustration link added.