Day Before (2)

“Dear sir? My apologies, but are you waiting for someone?”

The café’s master approached with a friendly attitude. I only ever used this place once, and I’m sure he’d already forgotten my face.

To the master with the expression of a good-natured old man, I responded, “Why yes, I am.”

“Truth be told, there’s been a woman outside the shop for a while now. Apparently, she’s waiting for someone as well…”

… Outside?

I stood, and left the café at once. On the main road, there were a few pedestrians passing by the café, but I couldn’t see Jessica anywhere.

“She was in the alley.”

I heard the master’s voice from behind, so I circled around to the store’s back. Right behind the shop was a dim alleyway, and there Jessica Belliquese snored as she slept like a log.

… What was she doing?

As she mumbled and turned, I approached her. Looking closely, she had properly laid out cardboard under herself.

“Oy, wake up.”

“Pgyaaah!”

I poked her forehead. There, Jessica raised a cry, and leapt up as she dribbled some drool.

“W-w-w-w-w-w-!” Her green hair was in a terrible bed-head. “Ah! Mr. Daniel! W-wwwhat is it!? What are you doing to a sleeping maiden!?”

“Nothing at all. And what about you? What are you doing here? Did you become homeless?”

“I’m not!” Despite having just woken up, with strangely good complexion, Jessica gave a hollow laugh of, “Ehehehe.”

“My house is quite far from here. It’s a pain to keep going back and forth, so for now, I decided to wait here until you came, Mr. Daniel!”

… Wait, she was sound asleep.

“But I properly told the café’s master, that I was waiting for someone. I asked him to bring them over here if they came.”

I’m sure the master didn’t really mind if it was just a meeting point and agreed. There’s no doubt he never thought she’d fall sound asleep in front of the store.

It wasn’t hard to imagine the troubles laying under that good-natured face.

“More importantly, Mr. Daniel! Just what is the meaning of this!?” Jessica bounced to her feet, her bedhead swaying as she stood. “I almost died there! Like this, a hundred thousand gold isn’t nearly enough!”

“You want to haggle?”

When I said that, Jessica enthusiastically answered “Yes, raise please.”

“Sure,” I answered. And added on, “How does a hundred and fifty thousand sound?”

“Wait, really!? Hooray!”

“Haha, don’t mind it. Then won’t you return the fifty thousand gold I sent you at once?”

“Eh? Eh?”

Jessica had just jumped for joy, taking up a pose, but she froze for a moment. A cold sweat dripped down from her neck.

“Um, that was, see, a necessary expense, or rather…”

“Hahahaha, what are you talking about? You’re a freelance mercenary, right? When did you become a full-time employee?”

I tapper her shoulder. “I’ll deduct it from your reward. So what I’ll pay you is a hundred thousand,” I said as I returned to the café.

From behind, I heard a pitiful voice of, “sweatshop lawyer…” from behind, but I didn’t particularly pay it any mind.

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