|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2157 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1017 words|
We were in one of the corners of the city. Most of the buildings here were half torn apart, making me wonder if they offered enough protection from the elements. Rina ran into one of the houses there, lifting a cloth they used as a door on her way in.
I followed after her, seeing a young woman, not too much older than Karin, lying on what could hardly be called a bed – it was more like a few layers of clothes laid on the ground. She had the same dark brown hair as Rina, even her facial features resembling hers, though they were contorted by a pained expression and rough breathing. It did not seem she had been eating properly for a long time, her limbs were extremely thin and her cheek appeared sunken in.
“Mommy! Someone from the guild came to help you!”
Rina clung to her mother as she spoke, but the woman could only utter pained moans in reply. The girl turned teary-eyed to look at me. I gently patted her head to calm her down before I stood next to her mother and held my hands over her.
The only healing magic some adventurers knew how to use could only cure poisoning or paralysis, any severe or chronic diseases needed the help of a professional, or a priest to be exact. But my healing magic was at least as powerful as theirs, if not even stronger. Priests had no spells to heal large groups of people, but at least they could handle a single patient very well.
(It’s been a while since I did this, so I better focus.)
The glow of magic appeared on my palms and they gradually felt warmer. Magic power circulated through my body as I slowly let it out together with the word I had associated with the spell.
Particles of light were sent from my hands and gently enveloped Rina’s mother. Soon after her breathing became more regulated, her pained face relaxed and regained a healthy color. If everything went according to plan, she had to be fully healed now. Her eyelids twitched a few times before she slowly opened her eyes. Rina noticed her mother had woken up, so she clung to her while crying.
Her mother looked confused seeing her daughter hold her so tightly, and then she noticed me as well, slowly looking up at me.
“Umm…who are you?”
“I’m Lapis, nice to meet you. I’m a receptionist from the guild.”
“From the guild? H-hello…”
I smiled as much as I could, while she reflexively bowed to me. I decided to wait until Rina stopped crying before I explained what had happened.
§ § §
“I see… so Rina went and did that. I’m sorry for disturbing you.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
Once Rina was calm, I explained to her how I got there, and that I had healed her sickness. She bowed deeply in gratitude when she heard all of it. Rina’s mother, or Maria as she introduced herself, was healthy now, but her face still seemed clouded over. She gently stroked her daughter’s hair to calm her down and forced a smile, but I had a pretty good guess at what was troubling her.
“So…well, how much do I owe you for your help? You can probably tell I don’t have many means to compensate from how my house looks, but I’ll work until I can pay it off…”
“Rina already supplied the reward, so don’t worry about that. Isn’t that right, Rina?”
“Yeah! I paid when I brought her here!”
Rina spoke cheerfully while taking out her bag with the copper coins. Maria was painfully aware of how many coins it held, so she looked confused.
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“B-but…there’s only a handful of copper coins there… I always heard that getting this type of treatment costs many gold ones.”
“I’ve heard that too… but don’t worry about that.”
I knew from the start that she lacked funds, but I had only used a fraction of my mana to heal her, and I had already recovered it while we were talking. Still, I could not blame her for feeling uneasy. Anyone would think that there is some hidden intention when someone does something very expensive for free.
If I just left then and there she would not think about it anymore, but I was sure she would start pushing herself to work again, and end up sick soon enough. Everything would repeat itself then, and my help would only be a momentary band-aid. What they needed the most was a source of stable income and nutritious food. That gave me an idea.
“Maria, what kind of work do you usually do?”
She seemed confused hearing me switch topics like that, but she replied without questioning me.
“Well…it’s not like I have a stable job. I usually just go to the merchant’s guild and see if there are any short jobs I can do there. I never had a good education, and my body is weak as you see, so I never really got decent employment…normally just manual labor like carrying items from one place to another…”
Usually, stores with a wealthy clientele only looked for workers with good looks and decent education, so they would never hire her. The only people who would employ her were probably harsh merchants that did not think of people as human beings.
Of course, there is different work for different people, so there are those who prefer working at something that requires no mental effort and can earn them a livelihood, while others feel at ease putting their brains to use behind a desk. But that was definitely not the type of work someone like Maria should be doing.
“You never tried to look for work as a house helper? Like cooking or cleaning while your employers go to work?”
“I’ve tried, but they always look for someone trained as a maid, so it’s hard for a beginner like me…”