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Chapter 1 Part 3
After that, I tried to tidy up all of the weapons that scattered outside, when I remembered that I had acquired the [Item Box] skill, and decided to use it. However, when I tried to use it, I realized I didn’t know how to activate it, and so I tried to chant [Item Box] in my mind, at which point a black space suddenly appeared in front of me.
I was quite startled by that, but when I realized I could make it appear or disappear with just a thought, I threw a ballpoint pen in the house into the black space. After I tried to make the black space appear and disappear again, I timidly reached out into the space, and soon the information about the ballpoint pen flowed into my mind.
After that, I went about my business smoothly, throwing the scattered weapons one after another into the [Item Box] to tidy up. Of course, I confirmed that I could freely store and retrieve things from it. It would be surprising to show it off on Earth.
After I had finished all this testing, I was mentally exhausted, and I went through the mysterious door with halting steps, back into grandpa’s hidden room. It’s… not a dream…
When I instinctively looked at it from a distance, my stomach suddenly grumbled. I checked my watch, and it was right at lunch time. Now that I thought about it… the other side of that door had the same timeflow as here. I was grateful for that.
I opened the refrigerator in my house to satisfy my hunger, but it was empty. “Aw, man… I thought I already bought groceries, but apparently not…”
It was a real drag, but if I ignored it, I’d collapse from hunger, so I picked up my wallet and decided to go to a nearby convenience store to buy some food. Outside, I was exposed to intense sunlight, even though it was still early spring, and I started sweating immediately.
Yup… it was a result of being fat…
I was already getting tired, but I managed to get to a nearby convenience store, where I encountered an unpleasant scene.
“Hey hey, it’s okay, isn’t it? Come have tea with us.”
“I already said no, I’ve refused you so many times already! Please, let me go!”
“Don’t say that, darlin’~”
A girl about the same age as me was getting caught up in a group of men that really stood out. The convenience store I went to was in a residential area after all, and there were a lot of people walking by. To think that they would try to seduce a girl out in the open like this, and right in front of a convenience store, on top of that…
The girl didn’t like it, and tried to get away from the men, but they persistently surrounded her. When I looked around, there were people in the area, but everyone pretended not to see them. Finally, one of the men grabbed her arm.
“Hey, come on, let’s go.”
“It’s okay, nothing bad’s gonna happen.”
“I don’t wanna! Let go of me, please!”
The men all turned to look at me. Their collective gaze was sharp, and it was clear they were looking down on me. To be honest, I was terrified, and wanted to ignore the situation, but if my grandpa was here, he wouldn’t have hesitated to help. He was the kind of person who would always help someone if they were in trouble.
I loved my grandpa, and was proud of him for not changing his beliefs, even if he was treated like a hypocrite or a weirdo. With that in mind, I spoke up without even thinking.
“What is it, fat-ass? Do you have business with us or something? Huh?!”
I almost squealed, but kept it under control. “N-no… uh… she… I don’t think she likes you.”
They almost growled in offense. They ignored the girl and surrounded me instead.
“You making fun of us, huh? You little bastard.”
“No, that’s not what I…”
“Stop nagging, asshole!”
I cried out as one of the men mercilessly punched me in the face. I rolled into a ball, in so much pain, but the men didn’t let up, and kept kicking me while I was down.
“Don’t mess with us… you son of a bitch!”
“You disgusting piggy!”
“Die, you fucker!”
My face, my chest, my belly. Every time a sharp kick drove into my body, I felt like I was going to pass out. Then, abruptly, the men who were so viciously beating me suddenly stopped and ran off.
“Hey, police are coming!”
“Man, what!? You gotta be kidding!”
“Someone reported us, let’s scram!”
Apparently, someone reported them to the police, and those men quickly fled the scene. My whole body was in pain, but not to the point that I couldn’t endure it. It didn’t seem like anything was broken.
Jeez, I didn’t have to show my usual resistance in a place like this. But thinking about it again, it’s a little strange. Until now, I usually would have lost consciousness at a time like this, but now, I managed to stay awake, though just barely. Could it be that the [Endurance] skill activated? I knew I was able to use [Appraisal] at home before, but to think I could also use a skill on Earth as well…
The girl who was being harassed earlier came running over and helped me get up.
“Are you alright? I’ll call an ambulance right away…!”
“It-it’s okay, it’s okay… it’s okay, so… I don’t need an ambulance…”
“No, really… it’s okay.”
I was moved by the girl being so worried about an ugly person like me, so enduring the pain, I stood up.
“By all means, lean on my shoulder, I’ll help you walk…”
“N-no, it’s okay… it’s okay already.”
“It’s really okay now… rather than that, you were getting harassed, weren’t you? Please be careful from now on.”
I don’t really know what I’m saying, but I got my distance from the girl who was worried about me. She just got attacked by a man, so she shouldn’t want to be by a man’s side, right? I think that would be a natural course of action.
Well, it might not matter if she didn’t even recognize me as a man, or as a human. The police came rushing over while I was having those self-deprecating thoughts. The police officers were two women and one man, so the girl might be relieved with this.
“We just got a report…”
“Ah, I was surrounded by a group of men, and this person helped me when I was in trouble! Therefore…”
The girl explained to the police in detail that I was the only one injured, so it didn’t seem to matter that much. It was like a weird story that I was the only one to get hurt. After a short series of questions, the police officer apparently decided to send the girl home. Then they turned to me.
“We’ll send you home, as well. Where do you live?”
“N-no, it’s okay… I’ll go home by myself, I came here to get groceries…”
“I see… well then, please be careful.”
When the police officers started to take the girl with them, she suddenly turned to me and bowed her head.
“Thank you for your help this time!”
“Huh? Ah, no, don’t worry about it… I couldn’t do anything, after all.”
“That’s not true! In fact, you made me so happy! Thank you very much. I’ll be sure to repay you for this.”
“P-please don’t mind it… W-well then, I’ll take my leave…”
I don’t usually talk to people, but I managed to say that much, and cut off the conversation to part ways with her.
…I couldn’t look her in the eye at all. In the first place, I rarely talk to women, and when I do, it’s just a bunch of swearing directed at me. Because I’ve been through that experience for so long, I have zero defense against women, mentally.
But that girl, even if maybe she was only being polite, was worried about me. I thought she was a good girl… ah, a girl like that deserves to be happy. Thinking like that, before I bought the other things I wanted, I stretched my legs a little more and went to the supermarket for the groceries, then stopped at the convenience store again on my way back, before finally going home.