Chapter 329 – Tom and Kay
「What an elegant location!」
「…is this a location?」
Yureena and Luka said.
「Glad that we found a place, though.」
Timi said, entering the place and not really noticing.
Steff and Leah, on the other hand, looked a bit unhappy.
For me, as long as it has a good roof and walls, there’s no problem.
I went in, and the kid smiled at me.
「You can use this room or this other room as you like.」
There were a few beds, but that was common in inns in the country.
The kid was fidgeting, and asked,
「Can I ask for payment before you stay?」
「Sure. How much for six people and a cow.」
He thought about it a bit, and gave me a very cheap price.
The same as one person staying in the capital.
I paid, and the kid looked at me happily,
「No, I’m glad it was so cheap.」
While we were talking about it, from inside the house, a little girl emerged.
She was smaller than Collette.
「Yeah, to stay here.」
She said, with a bow of the head.
「Thanks for having us.」
Yureena gently responded, and patted the girl’s head.
「You want some candy?」
And the girl happily gobbled the candy down.
Shiggy stuck her head out and looked around.
The girl’s eyes lit up.
「Can I touch?」
As soon as I answered, Shiggy jumped out and towards the girl.
Shiggy really liked children, but this one looked a little thin.
Well, looking at both of them, they both looked thin.
It might be that they were living through hard times.
The girl pet Shiggy very happily.
Then I told the boy,
「I thought you were just pandering to customers, but you own this place?」
The boy’s name was Tom and the girl’s was Kay.
Both their parents had died…and they were siblings.
「They worked very hard and saved money but…」
It was hard for kids like Tom to make money.
The home the parents had left Tom, Tom turned into a lodging.
「Kay, wait a second. I have to go buy food.」
He was going to use the money I had just given him.
Seems that he was pretty low on money.
Maybe I’d give him a tip when I leave.
「Is there a food store around here?」
「I have something to buy, so take me with you.」
「Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve been in Elkay. I have no idea where anything is anymore.」
So Tom would lead me to the store.
I gave him some extra money on top of the payment. It was a little less than I paid him for the stay.
「Are you giving this to me?」
「Sure. It’s for letting Shiggy in to.」
Shiggy stayed and played with Kay while I left for the store.
While I was going there, I looked over the town.
Many people, and quite busy.
「Here it is.」
Tom took us to a shop that was falling apart.
The place was a dump, but there were quite good materials there.
After buying a certain amount, Tom said,
「For taking me here, I’ll buy you some food.」
Tom didn’t hold back either. He must have been thinking about his hungry sister.
After buying a lot, we headed back.
We borrowed the kitchen and made some food, and we all ate.
Tom and Kay ate with us.
Kay was quite happy with the food.
And after cleaning up, I asked Tom,
「Can I ask you a question?」
「Do you know Damian, of the Neglys?」
Damian was the guy who was in control of the Negly Gang in Elkay.
I had gotten his name from Bill and the boss of the Neglys back in the capital.
Hearing Damian’s name, Tom straightened out like a bolt.
He must have been scared.
「Sir, are you his friend?」
「Nope. He’s just caused some trouble doing business with me.」
I had to choose my words carefully until I knew that Tom was for or against him.
Tom looked relieved. He was the type though that you could tell what he was thinking.
I guessed that he wasn’t friends with Damian.
「Tom, you don’t have any problem with Damian, do you?」
「Tell me if you want to.」
And he told the story plainly.
He owed money. Of course he did.
It was hard enough to live alone as a kid, but with a little sister…
「When I needed money, Damian would give it to me.」
Weird. This guy Damian might actually be nice.
「But he told me he GAVE me the money, and later said he LENT me the money.」
So…not so nice.
「He told me, ‘there’s no way I’d just GIVE you the money!’」
「What a scoundrel.」
「Yeah, then he starts talking about interest? And now it’s a lot of money.」
So the first amount he gave Tom was a little, maybe enough to stay a night at Tom’s place.
Then the interest was put on it, and it exploded to 500 times the amount.
Damian was going to use that claim to take the house from Tom.
But that much interest was illegal. Tom should just tell a official.
「Why not just tell an official?」
「I went to it, but he didn’t listen…they chased me off.」
Seems that the official didn’t care.
So Damian was able to do what he wanted.
「Well, that sucks.」
「A LOT. That’s why I have to save as much money as I can.」
I couldn’t overlook this.
There was no way this kid could out-earn the amount of interest against him.
And at this rate, the Neglys would have his house soon.
Then the kid would probably be forced to do bad things at Damian’s command.
This was the route of a lot of abandoned or orphaned children…straight into criminality.
「Well, I guess I have something to discuss with this Damian.」
「Can you do it?」
「Sure. I’m very good at talking to people like him.」
Tom smiled ear to ear in happiness.