The Girl Who Spits Up Jewels Volume Ⅰ Chapter 4-2
The Girl Who Spits Up Jewels
Volume Ⅰ The Girl Who Spits Up Jewels
Chapter 4 ― 2
“I can’t even do that, her body looks too much like an infant.”
Such boorish words were Sputnik’s first words to Clue.
She didn’t know what he meant by ‘that’, but she definitely felt that he was boorish anyway. But she didn’t get angry, because it has been such a long time since she heard of “words that are not abusive.”
She was asleep on the floor ― maybe she fainted ― but the words she heard belonged to a voice she had never heard of before. But from the way someone’s hands are touching her back, the words seemed to have been for her, and she thought she would soon be jolted by one of the bandits. Raising her eyelids and slowly lifting her heavy head off the dusty floor, she met the eyes of a neatly-looking young man.
Clue at that time had never seen the face before. The young man is well dressed and does not give the impression of being a bandit. A square and sturdy-looking bag is lowered besides him, and if judging solely based on that, he seems to be a merchant. The sight of his brows seems to be asking in wonder, “What’s with this kid?” His tongue seems to be quite spiteful, but he doesn’t look like a fellow member of the bandits who had captured her, at least to Clue.
But why would there be a merchant in a bandit’s hideout?
There isn’t the fear in his eyes which would’ve been present should he had been attacked and captured. His clothes and luggage does not seem to be damaged or missing either.
“He, hehe, Brother. Find anything you like?”
What’s even more surprising for Clue is the bandit leader coming in from another room while rubbing his hands. Apparently, he seems to be trying to have the young man be in a good mood―
The bandit leader opened his eyes wide when he saw the young man kneeling down on one knee and looking at Clue.
“Hey Uncle, what’s with this? Aah, no, no, I’ll ask her. ――Nice to meet you, Young Miss. Do you understand my words?”
“Nice…… to meet you.”
The first non-apologetic words she spat out after quite a few number of years are very hoarse.
She doesn’t know who he is, but he doesn’t seem to have any malice for her.
“Oh, she can’t speak. She ended up being like that.”
A young man simply ignored the bandit uncle and joyfully continued after Clue replied his greeting. He asked for her name, age, and why she was lying there. “No way, ‘I find it fun to take a nap after invading a bandit’s hideout’ is it?” He even said something ridiculous like that.
Now, which question should I answer first ― Clue thought to herself, my name?
However, she was interrupted before she could continue her words.
What interrupted her was her belly, or stomach rather, the feeling of something rising from the depths of her stomach.
“Hey. What happened?”
The young man looked suspiciously at her as she suddenly started moaning in pain.
Clue felt the sensation of a foreign object. It eventually reached her throat, and clogged up her esophagus and trachea. Her body crouched, she coughed, and tried to breathe as usual, but she particularly lacked physical strength that day. She skipped meals that day and the day before after all.
Her consciousness is fading due to lack of oxygen. At that time, when she thought she was in a really bad state, her body was suddenly lifted.
Is this what it felt like to be called to heaven? ― She thought to herself, but it wasn’t.
“You are so light. Are you even eating properly?”
She was lifted in the left arm of the young man. Being suddenly lifted in the shape of a 『 , blood rushed to her head.
“Evil possessed Young Miss, this might be a little rough.”
No sooner than finishing those words, the young man suddenly thumped her back hard.
Once, twice, and on the third time, what had been blocking her throat finally fell on the dusty floor.
A blue gem covered with saliva.
――Never had the young man seen something so astonishing before.
He gently laid her on the floor and she kept making rough breaths to the point that her shoulders are heaving up and down. The young man picked up the jewel with his vacant right hand.
Not minding the dirt and saliva getting on his fingers, he raised it up against the light. “Splendid,” he exclaimed and extended his left hand to the girl’s forehead, parting her sweaty bangs with his fingers.
“It is of a reasonable size, the purity is high. This is a very valuable jewel. It could be sold anywhere after it is properly processed ― Young Miss. What does this mean? Did you eat this stuff?”
Looking over at the young man who asked him, she saw his brilliantly shining ashen-coloured eyes. And, the disturbed looking bandit uncle over his shoulder.
She doesn’t know who the young man is, but she knows he isn’t one of the bandits.
Clue told him about herself in a withered and hoarse voice. About her constitution that will let her spit up jewels. How she’s “raised” by the bandits as a source of funding.
The young man exhaled a long breath as he listened to everything and nodded deeply.
“T-that’s wrong! It’s not like that, Brother!”
The bandit uncle shouted as if a switch was flipped. His face was grimacing and his voice cracked.
The young man asked in a low mutter without turning back,
“What is not like what?”
“T-the thing is, us friends ―― How should I put it, the little one, yes, she has a habit of lying! We let her swallow the loot we obtained earlier this morning, to spite her. That’s right, since this morning, everyone had been trying to make her spit it out over and over again! First of all, it is ridiculous to be able to make jewels like she said. Brother won’t believe it, right!?”
Ahahaha, he makes a dry and impatient laugh. Clue is one of their most important sources of funding after all, and he most definitely won’t want to lose her.
He’s lying, but Clue had no feelings of frustration when she was referred to as being their companion. She doesn’t even have the energy to refute him, so she didn’t argue.
However, the young man seemed to be judging things himself without being swayed by his words. He grabbed Clue’s shoulders and turned her to the side, “excuse me,” he whispered, and slightly lifted her ragged shirt. A thin, wounded belly is exposed. He swiftly checked her neck and chin, back, shoulders and feet in the same way, and bluntly said,
“A lot of her abdominal injuries are quite old. I can hardly imagine those being made in the last few hours. Incidentally, many of the bruises, both old and new, are concentrated in her abdominal area. ――So now, why were you especially assaulting just her belly?”
Ah, well, umm ― the bandit uncle kept letting out such incoherent words while seemingly struggling to come up with excuses, and his eyes were swiftly wandering around, but the young man seems to no longer be interested in him. He asked Clue in a gentle voice while stroking her unkempt chestnut-coloured hair.
“How are you feeling, Young Miss?”
When was the last time she heard words not filled with malice? Her tears, which she thought had completely withered, ran down her cheeks. “Oh, don’t cry, don’t cry,” he said in a teasing tone, but even those felt warm.
“That’s right, I suppose you haven’t had food?”
He stretched out his left hand on the fastener of his bag to grab something to eat ― When suddenly,
The bandit uncle made some movement behind the young man.
He picked up a long iron rod leaning against a wall.
But the young man hasn’t noticed it yet.
Clue thought she should help, but her body doesn’t move. Simply lifting her arms is already a very difficult task, and her voice that she had supposed she raised with all her might ended up amounting to nothing. Right behind the young man, the bandit uncle laughs with his eyes open wide, and makes a horizontal swing with the rod.
“Ku, Kukukuku, eat this――!”
Clue shut her eyes closed, not wanting to see the tragedy that would be unfolding.
No sound was heard for a long while. Neither the scream of the young man nor the ugly laughter of the bandit uncle.
She timidly opened her eyes after about 10 seconds.
Clue, who couldn’t stand the feeling of strangeness, raised her eyelids open. Then, what came into her sight is,
“Something wrong, Young Miss?”
Surprisingly smiling the same way as before, the young man.
――His right hand is raised above his head, easily catching the iron rod that should have been coming down from his blind spot.
“Well then, now.”
The young man stood up slowly, still holding the rod.
The bandit uncle’s body shook in a funny way.
It seems he tried to retrieve the iron rod to make a distance, but the rod held by the young man does not budge an inch. How does such power come from his thin arm? The uncle wondered in fear and let his hands go from the bar, retreating backwards with his trembling feet.
The young man thrashed on the floor with the rod, looking terribly intimidating with his cold-looking eyes. He asked the obvious,
“What is this? This?”
“It’s okay, you don’t have to apologize. Just answer me. What were you planning to do to me just now?”
“Ss-sorry, sorry, I’m sorry―”
The apology got interrupted as the young man hit the bandit uncle’s head with the rod, who then swayed around unsteadily, and fell down, twitching as if he’s having a concussion. He wobbled, trying to get back up, but flopped down on the floor once again.
He tried to get up with slow motions and repeatedly fell prone again. After witnessing such a sight for three times, the young man said, “I’m bored,” and continued,
“If I’m an ordinary person, you’re an ordinary tumbling doll――”
And swung the rod to strike at the bandit uncle’s back.
The young man then puts his right foot on his left arm, making him raise a short scream, and falling down face first. The young man then pointed his left index finger at Clue and smiled while looking at the bandit uncle.
“I’m in quite a good mood right now so I’ll let it go with this much. Hey Uncle, I’ll take ‘this’. It’s fine, right?”
He said in a cheerful tone. The bandit uncle looked towards where he pointed, and his eyes opened wide.
“Uncle, which is it gonna be? Your limbs or this kid?”
The expression of the bandit uncle distorted in fear. The expression of the young man who saw it, in contrast, is that of a sneer, as if he is a sadist.
“First, your left arm. Answer within five seconds.”
The young man’s center of gravity slowly shifted to his right foot, the bandit uncle screamed and his face distorted even more, this time out of pain. It didn’t even take three seconds before he shouted, “Whatever. You can take whatever you like!”
“A very generous permission, I am much obliged.”
His words of gratitude aren’t sincere at all. The bandit uncle felt relieved for a bit, but the rod once again hit his head.
The bandit uncle no longer spoke, he neither begged for his life, or shouted. Clue wondered if he had died, but looking closely, the dust around his face seems to be moving. He seems to just be unconscious.
The young man casually let go of the rod and looked at Clue, then got down on one knee beside her, just like before. And once again, he said his greetings.
“Once again, Young Miss”
She couldn’t respond immediately. She was too amazed at the scene unfolding in front of her.
But the young man did not get angry. Far from scolding her, who couldn’t even get up on her own, he instead smiled at her and said,
“I am Sputnik, a wandering jeweler. I want to hire you.”
(A/N: The chapters splitting and numberings are done as in the raws)