Home ->My insomnia is killing you ->20 A handshake

 Sitting in the lukewarm water that reached his chest, Harrison thought about Sheina how she suddenly changed from constantly blushing to even teasing him. He did not expect that from her at all.

'It must be the change of the environment. At home she feels safer, and she is not worrying about what might happen if I were to actually take a bite on her bait. Whatever. It's not like I am not on some weird level enjoying the attention I am getting from her. She could have just returned home from the road but she made sure I come with her so she could talk to me and thank me properly. Both she, her father and the servant seem like honourable people.'Harrison thought while scrubbing himself with some soap he found which smelled like heaven compared to the carbolic soap he had before.

After drying himself off with a towel, he looked at his new body in the mirror. He looked young with wild unruly brown hair and a skinny body, probably a result of malnutrition. He combed his hair with a brush he found near the mirror and he felt somewhat satisfied with the result. He needed a haircut, but that could wait.

Getting dressed into his new clothes, he noticed they didn't fit him. The pants were too long, and shirt was too big. After and in and out from the inventory they fit him as if they were tailormade for him.

Getting out of the bathroom, he saw Englin waiting for him in the hallway.

"I knew these clothes would fit you well." he said proudly, "You can drop your clothing in your room before following me to the dinning room for dinner." Englin explained with a smile.

Harrison just inwardly laughed.

As they went down the stairs, they heard footsteps behind them, and Sheina joined them. She wore a different dress again from the afternoon.

She mumbled something and then turned around in her new pink dress and violet earrings with her hair braided.

As Harrison looked at her with a dumbfounded expression she suddenly remembered and got the sphere back from Englin.

"How do you like it? I forgot you don't understand me without this." She said while smiling at Harrison.

"You look all right."Harrison said as he didn't want to encourage her new antics even more.

"Hmmph. Just all right."

She was obviously unsatisfied with his answer.

Englin just smiled and led the way.

There was dinner ware set up for seven people on the table. At the top of the table and they set three places on each side up for dinner.

"You will sit next to me.", Sheina said and went to the top left seat which was also the first one on the right looking from the hosts perspective.

Harrison could only comply. As they sat down Shalmoon came into the dinning room with the rest of the guests. Harrison instinctively got up, but Sheina ignored them.

As they got closer Shalmoon gestured to Sheina to do the introductions and told her he explained the situation to them. The recent arrivals were a middle-aged couple with a boy looking the same age as Sheina and a girl of about Harrison's age.

'Just nod at them as I tell you their names.' Sheina told him before she started the introductions.

"This is Captain of the guards Ruk Dali and his wife Iyri with their son Tuk and daughter Lyri." She told Harrison and gestured towards the arrivals and he nodded as they were mentioned.

Ruk was a tall, bald-headed, brown bearded, muscular man, and Iyri was a petite woman with blonde hair, so they made for an odd couple. They both acknowledged Harrison with a nod back.

The children were like clones of them from their younger days. Tuk was tall and muscular with pimples instead of a beard and with a full set of hair. Lyri was a spitting image of her mother with brown hair, which was a shame because her mother was not much to look at.

Ruk was quite the jovial type, and he came over to Harrison's seat and embraced him. He was happy he did not have to go look for Sheina's corpse after the horse came back, and Shalmoon explained this kid was the reason for that.

He doubted Shalmoon could handle another shock after his wife went missing. The baron would probably have to be replaced as the magistrate if that happened and he would get a new employer who would probably not be anywhere near as pleasant as the current one. So he was truly thankful for Harrison's aid.

As Ruk embraced him Harrison felt awkward and scanned the room. Shalmoon, Iyri and Lyri were smiling at him while Tuk looked like he just ate a pile of dung and was clenching his fist.

'I guess someone does not like me. Whatever.'

Soon they got seated. Lyri was sat down beside him on his right with Sheina on his left side. Across from him sat Iyri with Ruk on her right and Tuk on her left side. At the head of the table was Shalmoon, of course.

The dinner got served soon after and it was roasted wild game with roasted vegetables. It was edible but would not win any Michelin stars in Harrison's opinion. Harrison was pretty sure he could do better if given a full kitchen of utensils. Even his blade roasted foxbit and unsalted ratbit tasted much better.

There were some fruits he never saw before for dessert, and after that the dinner concluded. Harrison only talked with Sheina during dinner using the telepathic option of the magic tool where she mostly complained about Tuk looking at her as if she was his bride to be. How bad Tuk's table manners were. How his face was full of pimples. She repeatedly bashed poor Tuk to Harrison. He even felt sorry for the poor guy until after dinner as Tuk went and offered his hand to Harrison for a handshake.

It was a normal gesture on Earth, and something ingrained into Harrison to return it.

'No. Don't!!! It's a challenge of strength. Ahhhh,'

Sheina yelled by telepathy, but she was too late.

Harrison looked at her and then felt Tuk squeezing his hand with all his might.

"What do I do?" he asked Sheila.

'Fall on the floor to avoid pain or squeeze the bastard until he crawls on the floor!!!', she replied.

He looked up at Tuk who by now was red in the face and was putting all his power into his hand's muscles but Harrison only used his just to resist. Suddenly the situation changed as Harrison put more strength in his hands and squeezed. Tears started rolling down Tuk's cheeks before he started rolling on the floor.

'That is enough.' Sheina said with a satisfied smile as she noticed Harrison looking at her for instructions.

By now the parents also came closer as they noticed the commotion.

Ruk hit the back of Tuk's head with his palm and yelled at him with a voice that conveyed disappointment.

Tuk blushed and ran off.

'He told him he was a little prick for picking on people smaller than he is by a head and that he deserved to being used to wipe the floor with.'

Sheila explained with a smile.

After the intermezzo Tuk was sent home and the rest of them went to the library while Ruk apologized for his son's behaviour on the way there.

The library was a huge two story room with books covering the walls and Harrison already imagined this will be the room he would spend a lot of time in.

Shalmoon and the couple had a glass of some liquor and there was also pastry for the kids. Harrison was looking around the library and trying to figure out how many books were in it.

"Can you read?", Sheina asked.

"Some words I understand." he replied.

"How did you learn those words?" Sheina asked in amazement.

"From children's books with illustrations." he replied and smiled.

"Can I borrow some books from here?"

"Sure. Just return them when you are done. This library is not really ours and neither is the mansion. It's the town magistrate's so if my father gets promoted or has to leave his position these books will stay here. Every former magistrate also added some books on his stay here. You could call it a tradition. This house is over 400 years old and the Emperor has passed the position on to my clan members for over 150 years." she explained.

"It doesn't look that old." he said.

"Well, it is. They have renovated it a lot. Every magistrate did it. That is why it's in good condition. The library even has some books older than the mansion itself. Even my father doesn't understand those as they are in foreign languages and scripts we have no way of reading. Maybe you can try reading those."

She smiled as she said the last sentence.

Harrison ate a pastry and admired the quantity of the books he had available now and smiled back at her.