|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1181 words|
“Did you say Kena? Is she safe?”
Astard, who appeared to be concerned, asked Merc, who had a gloomy expression on her face, with an urgent tone. Regardless, Merc’s expression remained unchanged.
“I don’t know… In comparison to her regular Mana, the response I’m getting is quite weak. She’s alive, but she’s not doing so great.”
“That’s terrible… Let’s hurry. Where is she?”
“Below the cliff. But, there’s one more thing…”
Astard plunged down the steep cliff without hesitation before Merc could even complete her sentence. Given Astard’s abilities, he wouldn’t have any difficulty slowing down his descent.
“Hey! Listen when I’m talking!”
Merc, who had failed to communicate something vital, followed Astard’s lead and plunged from the cliff with zeal. In Merc’s case, she used Mana Hardening to protect her body and leapt over the river that ran beneath the cliff and landed firmly on the shore.
“Tsk… I couldn’t fully kill the impact.”
Even with Mana Hardening protecting her entire body, landing from such a high cliff to the surface without slowing down was a bit of a risk. Merc welcomed Astard as he landed gracefully, softly caressing his numb legs.
“To think you’d land before me, despite the fact that I was the one who jumped off first. You’re still as insane as ever.”
“Shut up. If you had let me finish, I wouldn’t have had to jump off.”
“Let you finish?”
“In addition to Kena’s, there was another presence. It might belong to one of the Empire’s men.”
When Astard learned that there was another presence besides Kena’s, his face hardened.
“Let’s hurry. Which way is she?”
“Over there. Past the bushes, in that old hut. She’s by herself right now.”
Astard could easily sense Kena’s Mana at this distance, yet he hurried towards the direction Merc indicated, as if he didn’t want to waste even a second. Whether it was because Kena was his benefactor’s daughter or for other reasons, Astard most certainly felt a sense of obligation towards her.
Astard and Merc made their way to the old hut, keeping an eye out for any traps or ambushes. It appeared to be a fisherman’s hut, but there were signs that it hadn’t been used in a long time. It seemed that whoever was with Kena had just used it to let her rest.
“It appears that Kena’s the only one inside.”
“Yea. But the girl who pretended to be Tetem carried a unique Magic Stone with her. We shouldn’t let our guard down.”
After a brief chat outside the hut, Merc took the task of opening the door, a wooden stick in hand. Astard, on the other hand, was in charge of using magic to cover for them while keeping an eye on the rear.
“One, two, three!”
The door slammed open, and Merc spotted Kena laying on the cloth-lined floor inside. Kena’s clothes appeared to have been violently torn, and her body was wrapped in what appeared to be a piece of fabric. It was also evident that she was still unconscious.
She seemed to have a fever based on the abundant perspiration on her red cheeks and her pained expression.
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When Astard realized there was no trap, he pushed Merc away and dashed over to Kena. While he was happy to find that she was unharmed, he grimaced when he saw the dreadful wound on her body.
“That’s one hell of a wound. Someone must have done her good.”
Merc frowned and held out her hand as she removed the blood-soaked cloth from Kena’s body and examined the wound that ran diagonally from her shoulder to her side.
Kena’s fever was most likely caused by this wound.
A warm light radiated from Merc’s palm and enveloped Kena, quickly closing the wound as though rewinding it. Kena’s painful countenance began to shift into a tranquil one at the same moment.
“.. How interesting.”
Astard, who had previously witnessed it being used on the girl who had disguised herself as Tetem, was astonished by how quickly Kena’s severe injury was cured.
“Don’t look! She’s still a young girl!”
“What? Are you talking about Kena? If so, then I don’t mind.”
“You should! You idiot! Go guard the entrance!”
Merc chastised Astard, urging him to step aside. In a dissatisfied tone, Astard murmured, “You’re an old man too you know…” before turning back.
However, that wasn’t the point Merc was trying to make. Merc was an old man, but he was an old man who knew how to handle himself when he needed to. Even now, she was healing Kena while trying not to think about anything.
Don’t think. I’m a Healer… a Healer! If I ogled my patients, I’d be nothing more than a loser. Her rack is huge? So what?! They’re just lumps of fat! They can’t affect me! They’re not soft! She’s a patient! I should focus on healing her. Damn it! Healing is hard when you can’t focus… In order to focus and finish quickly, I should just look… No, no, I shouldn’t…
“Merc. You seem to be struggling with something.”
“W-What? I-It’s just your imagination! And don’t look! Your nickname is pervert from now on! Wait… aren’t I the pervert here…”
“… Good grief. That aside, how is Kena doing? Is she in danger?”
Astard inquired, and Merc, who seemed dejected after burning herself, replied.
“She’s fine. Her wound appeared to be quite severe, but thankfully, someone was able to stop the bleeding straight away. I did all I could to treat her and get rid of any bacteria that might have gotten into her system.”
After Merc finished mending Kena, she took a piece of cloth that was next to her and put it over Kena. She then placed her hands on Kena’s forehead and neck.
“Her fever’s gone down as well. She’ll become thirsty soon and wake up. Let’s go get some water before that…”
Merc said as she prepared to go fetch water with her wooden stick in hand. At the same time, she sensed someone approaching the hut.
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“Merc? Oh… it seems we have guests.”
“Yea. It’s the same Mana I felt earlier. I assumed the owner was an Empire soldier, but he may as well be Kena’s savior.”
“You have a point… Although… I feel like I know this Mana. Wait… It can’t be…”
Astard’s eyes widened in disbelief as he dug through his memories. The hud’s door opened before Merc had the chance to ask him what was going on.
“Huh? If it isn’t Astard. What are you doing here?”
The burly man asked. He was someone Astard and Merc both recognized.
You’re asking him?! What the hell are you doing here?!
Merc was taken aback by the suddenness of the circumstance and nervously glanced up at the man, unable to speak. The man’s name was Foldia1.
Merc and Astard’s comrade2, and the man who was once known as Gust of Wind’s top dog. And the man who was now widely regarded as a hero.