The next morning, after the incident at the banquet, I was awoken by the ringing sound of the telephone. When I looked at the clock, it was still 7 am. At this time, I am usually still sleeping soundly.
There never was a case whereby the telephone will sound this early in the morning. Did something happen? While thinking such a thing, I answered the phone with sleepy eyes.
Then, I heard the voice of the chief from the other side of the receiver.
“Fujiwara-sama, this is Jiharu.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“I’m sorry, but could some of the people take an absence from today’s work?” He requested.
“Can you tell me the reason why?” I questioned.
“That is....” The chief seems to have a hard time answering. It was clear that there was a problem in the tribe, and the cause might be from yesterday’s incident. “Mira, the girl who caused the problem yesterday, has disappeared...”
“Only her?” I woke up slightly.
“Yes.” He replied.
“Since when?” I questioned.
“I don’t know. But, it was probably last night...” Jiharu answered unsurely.
“Is there a possibility that she is still in the town?” I asked.
“We are searching for her now. However, since the west gate was open...” The chief trailed off.
“I understand. Please gather everybody in front of the gate at once.” I requested.
I have lost my drowsiness already. I cut the call, and left the house to prepare the truck. I have placed a drum at the edge of the site. It was filled with [Oil], which I pumped out to fill up the fuel tank. After topping up the fuel, I moved the truck behind the gate.
When I took off the bolt and opened the gate, the people from the wolf tribe were already waiting outside.
I made everyone move back, and stopped the truck in front of the gate. Afterwards, I got off from the truck, and heard the story from the chief.
“Chief, were there footprints of Mira outside of the town?” I asked.
“There are none. But, even if Mira is outside of the town, it will be hard to leave footprints behind because the ground is hard. They will also be covered by sand blown over by the wind immediately.” The chief answered.
“Hmm. Then, if we assume that Mira left the town, I think her destination is southwards, along the river. What do you think?” I suggested.
“Yes, I think so too. If she moves to the north, she will go back to the place where we came from, and the east is blocked by river. If she goes to the west...” When the chief talked about the prediction if she had gone to the west, his words become a bit evasive.
If she was moving towards the west, then it would be almost impossible to find her. If she didn’t leave a mark, we wouldn’t know where she went to.
“Then, Chief. Will you look around downtown, and around the town with everyone? I will go search the south with the truck.” I requested.
“I understand.” The chief nodded.
I turned my head from the chief towards the people who’ve already gathered.
“From now on, I will go and look for Mira with this truck. With the exception of the chief, I need one person with me. Who wants to come with me?” I asked.
The crowd murmured, and became hesitant. It was because they feel something like fear towards the truck.
Meanwhile, a person appeared right in front of me.
“I’m Bozugado. Please take me along.” He stated. It was the man who hit Mira yesterday.
“Alright. Then, Chief Jiharu, you will direct them inside the town. Please be careful so that there will be no new victims while you search.” I instructed.
The people from the wolf tribe started to search with the instructions of the Chief again.
I taught Bozugado how to open and shut the door, and let him sit at the seat next to the driver. Furthermore, I made him fasten the seat belt. After giving him simple instructions, I went to the driver’s seat.
When I started the truck, Bozugado tensed up. Well, he will get used to it quickly.
After I passed the town’s west gate, I drove the truck southwards.
The clouds of dust were dancing to match the revolving tires. At the first glance, the ground looked flat, but there were uneven parts here and there, unlike the concrete road. If Mira was hiding, it would be difficult to find her. That is why, the speed was only 40 km/h.
I drove the truck at low speeds while observing the surrounding areas. Because Bozugado was sitting at the passenger’s seat, I handed a pair of binoculars to him, and let him look around.
“Fujiwara-sama.” Bozugado stopped using the binoculars, and opened his mouth suddenly.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Can you forgive Mira?” He sighed.
(Why did he suddenly ask this?)
“Mira thinks well of Fujiwara-sama. Especially for that girl, who was smaller than me, the reason why we can feel the happiness of eating until our stomachs are full was thanks to Fujiwara-sama. I usually hear about this from her. But even so, it was a regret that she couldn’t have met with Fujiwara-sama much earlier.” Bozugado explained.
“It’s about her mother, huh..?” I sighed.
“Yes. Mira’s father died before she was even aware of things around her. I think her love for her mother was much deeper because of that. In the middle of the journey, because we hardly ate anything, Mira’s mother died from a disease.” The tribesman stated.
“...I see.” I muttered.
――Parents, huh? I have parents too. They were very normal parents. When I left the previous world, they would probably grieve like everyone else.
I am living in another land now. If they know about this, would it help them? However, that will never happen. That is why I stop myself from thinking too much about my parents.
“I understand the feeling of losing one’s parents as well, so, it’s okay.” When I said these words, Bozugudo thanked me, and resumed searching the surrounding area.
The truck continued moving southwards. One hour had passed since we left the town.
I don’t know when Mira left the town, but, it’s strange that we haven’t caught up to her yet after this much of a distance. Did we miss her, or maybe she didn’t move towards the south? Could it be that she went towards the north where her mother died?
It was when I thought about such a thing that Bozugudo yelled.
“There! There she is! Just a little bit further!”
I stepped on the accelerator. Before long, I saw the figure of Mira’s back before my eyes. The other side seemed to have noticed us too, and started to run. Then, she fell down.
The truck caught up to Mira in no time.
“Mira!” Bozugudo got down from the truck, and ran towards her.
Mira was holding a bow, but for the time being, it doesn’t seem like she will attack us. She was caught by Bozugudo easily.
When I considered the distance, it must’ve taken Mira all night for her to reach here. She must be tired, and didn’t have the power to resist.
I got off from the truck and went to Mira as well. Then, Mira glanced at me, and averted her eyes from me. She seemed to be awkward and embarrassed to see me. This was what I got from my impression.
“I heard about your mother.” When the word ‘mother’ comes out from my mouth, Mira glared at me suddenly, but I continued to speak without minding it. “Beyond this desert, there is only land where plants don’t grow. Even if you go there, you will only die.”
“That is still good! If I die, I will go to my mother’s side!” She yelled.
“Don’t say such a stupid thing!!” I shouted angrily.
In this one month that I’ve spent together with them until now, I have never gotten angry even once. Because of that, I can see the astonishment of Mira and Bozugudo.
I just continued my speech.
“If you are dead, do you think your mother who you love so much will be pleased?!” I’m actually not that angry inside of my heart.
The words I said just now were just ordinary persuasion so that Mira will want to return to the town. Actually, if I was in Mira’s shoes now, if someone said something like that to me, I will surely suspect that person. It was because suspicious words like these were overused in the previous world. However, in this world, they didn’t have the opportunity to see such ordinary situations that appear often in manga and drama, so my remark should be something new for them.
“It is not only your mother, everyone will grieve for you as well! All of them were doing their best to look for you now! Do you intend to make them sad? Your life isn’t just yours only, you know?!” I said angrily.
I wonder if she was touched by my words, as Mira was hanging her head while keeping silent. I lowered my voice a little bit now, and comforted her.
“Your mother... Her wish was for your smiling face above everything, right..?” These words were the conclusion.
Mira burst into tears on the spot. She herself understood that what she did was foolish, and based on her agitated emotions. At any rate, I have completely won the argument...
On the way home.
Mira was sitting in the middle of the seat, and the truck was heading back towards the town.
I said such a thing to her.
“For example, can a person live by himself? There’s that question. The answer is yes, you can live by yourself. But, two people are better than one person, and three people are better than two. If many people cooperated with each other, a person’s life can become more meaningful.” I stated. “I’m a person who lives a luxurious life. However I didn’t only give it to all of you. Because I work for a better life, I’m helping you guys. And, this is not limited to living. More than one person, or two people, more than two people, or three people… If everyone is smiling, my smile will become wider as well.”
Where have I heard this stinking speech? However, since it is not wrong, I think this speech is just ordinary.