Today, I decided to tackle the slow pacing of this week’s sidequest. This story follows up directly from FFM 2021 12: Seen, so you should read it before reading this one.
“We should try to look for him,” Warren remarked. “Something’s wrong.”
“It’s not our business.” Levi kept his eyes fixed on the cereal selection to avoid Warren’s eyes. “If he wanted our help, he would’ve approached us instead of walking away.”
“Not everyone has the courage to ask for help, Levi.” Warren shook his head. “I know that outside of work he’s not your responsibility, but my gut is telling me there’s a lot more going on than he’s letting on. He might need help.”
Levi thought back to the times he had spotted (usually) poorly-covered bruises and cuts on Raiyo’s head, arms and hands. Something fishy was going on indeed, but neither of them had brought it up as a silent agreement. Whatever was going on, it was most likely too unsavory for him to deal with — chances were that he would rather anger a golden eagle than whoever had injured his coworker.
“Levi,” Warren spoke up when his employer stayed silent, “please. I’m concerned about him.”
Levi made the mistake of looking sideways and saw his butler’s pleading eyes. He did not know how Warren could do it, but those eyes had a way to persuade him that he had not been taught to resist. It was probably just that Warren was too humane, too sincere in everything he did and said. He was the antithesis to everything he had grown up around — fake smiles, condescending swank, manners that were just a millimeter away from being contemptuous — and learned to navigate. Knowing that Warren was a father who had lost his own son years ago only made matters worse for Levi’s conscience.
He made his decision and sighed. “Fine, let’s look for him. But where do we even start?”
“I’ve seen him at the nearby park every so often. I think we should look for him there first.”
“Very well.” Levi did not want to get mixed up in whatever business left Raiyo regularly injured, but appeasing Warren’s fatherly instincts was most likely going to give him less headache at least in the short run.
When they had gotten back to their car with whatever groceries they had managed to pick before running into Raiyo, Levi could only hope that this would not backfire in the long run.