Chapter 25 - Call a Doctor
Slowly opening her eyes, Anna tried her best to comprehend the unbelievable situation before her. “Master?” she called out in a small voice.
Dylan had collapsed onto the ground. Blood was pouring from his nose and his left cheek was swollen, marked red by the shape of the drunken man’s large palm. The man in question was looking back and forth between his hand and Dylan, over and over, the horrible mistake he had just made slowly dawning upon him. His angry complexion drained of color until his face was white as a sheet. Then, he promptly turned tail and ran from the scene.
Anna knelt beside Dylan, her hands hovering above his face and trembling uncontrollably. “Call for a doctor,” she began, but her voice didn’t come out right. She swallowed back the lump in her throat and tried again, louder. “Someone, please! Call a doctor!”
When Dylan opened his eyes, everything around him was shrouded in complete darkness. Was it all a dream? He tried to move his body. As he did so, something on top of his face slid off and his sight returned to him. A familiar ceiling loomed over him.
Noticing that Dylan was opening his eyes, Sir Crane and Madam Jane, who had been looking after him, shot up from their seats.
“Dylan! Are you alright?” Jane asked. “Are you okay, my baby?”
The doctor with them spoke up in Dylan’s place. “He had simply lost consciousness due to shock. He is now awake, so you need not worry anymore.” As soon as the doctor finished their explanation, they left the room.
Dylan lifted himself up, his upper body rising. On one side of his pillow lay a wet towel. It had been placed on his face to help cool down his swollen, overheated cheek, and it had fallen off after he had woken up.
“What happened? Hm? Please tell me,” Madam Jane pleaded. “You hadn’t lost your voice or forgotten how to talk or anything, right?”
Dylan looked around the room. “No, I’m fine,” he said. “What happened to the others that were there?”
“You think this is the time to be worrying about other people? The only person there who’d been bleeding out was you. I haven’t received word of anyone else getting hurt.”
That meant that Anna hadn’t gotten hurt after he went down. Dylan breathed a sigh of relief and tried to remember everything. It seemed to happen so fast.
After impulsively deciding to buy Anna some shoes, Dylan had started walking back home, trying to come up with a natural-sounding excuse to use when giving the shoes to her. There had been a group of people forming in the middle of the street, however, and they were gawking at what seemed to be a fight, jarring him out of his musings. He had glanced over at the crowd without giving it much thought, but that changed when he spotted Anna amongst them.
His happiness at the sight of her was short-lived. Her legs were trembling and she had looked desperate to spring into action, which made him worried that she would try to intervene. Dylan parted the crowd and pushed himself inside of it.
Beyond the onlookers stood a large man wobbling on his feet as he threatened a young boy. The dangerous man had lifted his hand to strike the child, and at that moment, Dylan could hear the crowd’s frantic whispers.
“Oh my!” they exclaimed. “What should we do?!” they cried. “Someone please stop him!”
Dylan had a bad feeling something terrible would happen, and he wasn’t wrong. Just as the violent act was about to take place, Anna fearlessly jumped out. Reacting reflexively to her impulsivity, Dylan rushed out after her with his thoughts centered not on avoiding the giant brute’s attack, but on saving her instead. The man’s hand had slammed into Dylan’s cheek, rattling the brain in his skull and enforcing upon him overwhelming pain.
That was when he passed out.
“My head hurts a bit,” Dylan said, returning to the present. “Could you let me rest alone for a while?”
His parents understood that he wanted them to leave the room, and, although reluctant, they acquiesced to his request nonetheless. As soon as he was alone, Dylan buried his head into his pillow, releasing a wretched scream into its fluffy depths.