Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
It’s the next day after I treated Fran and Sera. While I’m gazing out the hospital window, there’s one thing in particular on my mind.
Depending on how I deal with it, the direction of my life might change from now on. It’s that important of a concern.
「Yuel-chan, I baked cookies, want some?」
「…! Thank you very much, Eris-san!」
Surveying the inside of the hospital, Eris seems to have made some pastries for her afternoon tea, and Yuel receives them with an ear-to-ear smile and runs back over to me.
Pinching a cookie, I pop it in my mouth and it crumbles apart. Delicious. However, that has nothing to do with what’s troubling me.
「Yuel-chan, is it tasty?」
Neither does the fact that the habit Eris is wearing today is getting a little tight around the bustline, yet she continues to wear it since it’d be wasteful to throw it out. Nor the fact that I can’t help but notice how her breasts are straining against it. The fact that Yuel is happily munching on the mouthful of delicious cookies stuffed in her cheeks has nothing to do with my concern either.
There’s only one thing troubling me.
Visible from the window, half-hiding behind the rustic hospital gate, there’s a green-haired woman in armor peering in this direction. An unknown woman, whom I’ve never met. I’m racking my brain to figure out how to deal with this woman who neither Yuel nor Eris have noticed.
It would be great if the woman at the gate were just an ordinary lady. “Oh, a fan of mine?” and that would be the end of it. However, even though I don’t recognize her face, I do recognize the armor that she’s wearing.
I’ve seen it at times defending the city gates, at times subduing violent criminals. Occasionally lined up in ranks, marching through the gates to subjugate monsters outside the city.
…That is the armor of this city’s knight brigade.
Why is there a knight peering in at this privately-owned hospital? Moreover, it looks almost like she’s performing surveillance.
The first thing that comes to mind is that this female knight has come to the hospital for medical treatment. But that can’t be it. The knight brigade supposedly has its own dedicated healers. Excellent ones, capable of using High Heal.
After I overhunted the Huge Slime, word got around among adventurers that I was an excellent healer who uses High Heal, although I didn’t show them that I’m capable of using EX Heal. Eris, Yuel, and Eight’s group aside, nobody should view me as anything other than a healer merely capable of using High Heal. I did claim to be able to use EX Heal at the slave market, but they never believed me in the first place.
Since the knights have their own healers who wield that same level of healing magic, and not to mention who’ll use it free of charge, she should elect to use them. Besides, she’s peeking in from the gate and not even entering the hospital in the first place.
Though she came to the hospital, that female knight’s purpose is not treatment. In other words, she’s here not as a customer but as a knight, which means she must be here to carry out her duty.
That’s right, arresting criminals.
As far as what job the knights have within the city, that’s it. Who did she come to arrest? There’s no need to think about it.
Neither Eris nor Yuel are the type who would ever commit a crime. If they had their backs up against the wall and were forced to choose between the law and their lives then maybe it would be different, but they wouldn’t engage in criminal behavior during their everyday lives.
But what about me?
I’m the type of person who gets kicked out of a hospital due to sexual harassment. I’ve peeped on a chaste sister in the bath, and I’ve groped a waitress’ ass at the tavern. I’ve rubbed a fellow adventurer’s breasts, and flipped another one’s skirt. I’ve been involved in so many other minor incidents up to this point that I can’t even remember them all.
…It wouldn’t be strange if one or two people reported me.
No, but, it’s hard to believe that a knight would expressly come to arrest me over such things. It’s only at the severe reprimand level, hopefully.
However, in addition to all that I also visited an illegal gambling den to try and make money. I hid my face at that time, though.
It’s not like nothing comes to mind. But rather, I can’t think of a reason that would be enough to cause a knight to set up a stakeout in front of the hospital.
No, there’s still the possibility that it’s a personal acquaintance of Eris. And the probability that it’s a stalker of mine isn’t zero. It’s not zero. In any case, if the knight really is here to arrest me, I won’t try to run. I’ll go out with my head held high.
And, as I’m thinking it over, the female knight at the gate begins to move.
The female knight shakes her head, does a guts pose, makes a determined expression and walks through the gate.
Then, the front door opens and the female knight enters the room.
Without waiting to see if our attention is focused on her, the female knight opens her mouth–
「M-Marietta of the Merhatz knight brigade shpeaking! I’m h-here today to inquire about an excellent hyealer!」
and bites her tongue.
「Um, would you like some tea?」
「Ah, that’s, n-not necessary.」
When the female knight flubs her self-introduction and panics, Eris sits her down at a chair and gives her some tea for the time being. Eris flashes a look in my direction, suspicious about what might have brought the knight to the hospital. She doesn’t seem to be one of Eris’ acquaintances. The female knight, Marietta, doesn’t appear to know about me either, so the stalker premise is out. Whatever, not like I thought that’s what it would be.
「H-Hey, Marietta…san, may I ask why you were watching from outside the hospital for so long?」
「Uh, errr, I’m sorry. I’m terribly shy. For me to enter an unfamiliar place, the timing has to be just… u-umm, anyway, please don’t mind the formalities.」
…I see. This woman, Marietta of the knight brigade, apparently wasn’t standing guard outside the hospital but rather waiting for the right timing to enter. How misleading.
「Well then, what brings Miss Knight to this hospital? It must be something other than medical treatment, no?」
Eris speaks. Certainly, looking her up and down, no injuries can be found. At least she doesn’t seem to be here to arrest me. I don’t feel any tension from Marietta like she’s about to capture a criminal. From her attitude and her humble impression, it’s more like she’s cowering. She seems like a weak-willed girl who gets all the odd jobs pushed onto her.
「Err, umm, I heard that there’s a healer by the name of Shiki-san living here…」
Marietta mentions as she timidly looks in my direction.
「Y-Yes. Errr, where should I begin… Ah, were you aware that lately a large number of monsters have been appearing on the outskirts of this city?」
It’s the same thing that Ruruka was talking about earlier. Oh yeah, those subjugation requests came from the knight brigade, didn’t they?
「Errr, this morning, we confirmed the cause of the increase in monsters. In order to resolve the matter, the captain has ordered us to quickly assemble as many capable healers as possible. Um, well, according to the information furnished by the adventurer’s guild, you’re an adventurer with a taste for young girls who’s always running around with one, and you’re an excellent healer capable of using High Heal numerous times… you must have quite a lot of magical power, right?」
Marietta explains, ever more timidly. She doesn’t appear to have positive proof. She’s probably just following up on a rumor she heard. Along with some other cruel, unfounded rumors. Eris’ gaze is a bit painful.
However, for her to especially come all the way to the hospital, there must be some sort of reason.
「Mmmmmm… ah, it’s true that my magical power is somewhat higher than average… but doesn’t the knight brigade have its own healers? Excellent ones that use High Heal. Why gather healers at the last minute? Also, I’m not a lolicon, okay?」
「Eh? Errr, yes. Um, the monster behind the recent monster outbreak is… a somewhat special monster known as the Krankheit Turtle. It’s a giant tortoise monster that, in order to find prey, emits a special poison from its body that can spread for dozens of meters. Depending on the individual, it can spread over a hundred meters, and it’s said to have the troublesome characteristic of weakening its prey. Errr, to cope with this poison mist, it’s necessary to periodically suppress the symptoms by casting Heal, but the present members of the knight brigade would be unable to keep up with the required healing, based on the captain’s judgment.」
Krankheit Turtle. It’s the first time I’m hearing the name, but it sounds like a troublesome monster. To put it in game terms, doesn’t a wide-area poison attack give off a boss monster vibe? I’m betting the reason they say it was the cause of the monster outbreak is because it drove other monsters out of the forest as it drew nearer to the city or something like that.
「If I’m not mistaken, it would be a disaster if it reached the town. Yet in that case the customers would also…! No, nevermind.」
Upon Marietta’s words, Eris’ eyes widen as if she’s realized something, but immediately afterwards she vehemently shakes her head in shame. Did she imagine how many customers the hospital would get? Maybe it’s because of all the money troubles she’s been dealing with until just recently.
Then, as I’m watching Eris feel conflicted–
–abruptly, one of the buttons on her chest snaps off with a *ping*.
The button traces a slow arc through the air.
Having lost a button, her chest spreads slightly.
Holding her head and stooping over while wrestling with guilt, Eris herself doesn’t notice.
At that very moment, as my eyes are being drawn towards the “delta zone” born in the gap between the cloth, Yuel enters my line of sight. As Yuel follows the button’s flight, her jaw drops and she pats her own vacant chest as she stares on dumbfounded.
And then, for just an instant, our eyes meet. I wish she wouldn’t look at me like that.
It’s impossible. No matter what she does, it’s impossible. I can’t console her.
…Let’s pretend I didn’t see anything.
Pretend I didn’t see anything, and resume the conversation.
「T-That sure sounds like a troublesome monster, doesn’t it?」
「Eh? Ah, err, that’s right. The Krankheit Turtle’s poison is slow-acting, but it’s extremely potent. If the Krankheit Turtle were to come to the city, it would outpace the treatment and there would most likely be enormous casualties. But the Krankheit Turtle is slow, and it’s still deep within the forest, so there’s no need to be concerned about that point.」
Marietta glances briefly at Eris’ chest, but continues talking. Good girl, you can read the atmosphere. Yuel composes herself, then carefully takes a peek at the gap in Eris’ clothes.
「Although it’s within the forest, if you’re going to subjugate it, do you know its exact location?」
「Y-Yes, it was early this morning, but an adventurer came to us asking for separate compensation for the treatment fee when her party members came down with a strange illness after entering the forest. Those girls were exposed to a small quantity of the Krankheit Turtle’s poison mist, so if we go to the location where the incident occurred then it shouldn’t be far off.」
This sounds like a familiar story somehow. Is it about Ruruka? That shamelessness certainly sounds like her. It’s probably Ruruka. I see, so that monster called Krankheit Turtle or whatever was the cause of their fever. They ended up like that from the Krankheit Turtle’s slow-acting poison after they were exposed to just a small amount of the poison mist. And the symptoms didn’t develop for Ruruka because she came to me and received healing magic right after they got back from the forest.
While I’m making connections in my head, Marietta corrects her posture and opens her mouth.
「Although the Krankheit Turtle’s movement speed is by no means fast, if we allow too much time to pass, there’s still the possibility of losing sight of it within the vast forest. In order to counteract the poison mist and safely subjugate it, we wish for an excellent healer like Shiki-san to accompany us by all means.」
And then, after informing me with a sincere expression–
「……Also, um… your chest button, came off? It’s… impressive.」
she approaches Eris, and says that.
Eris’ face turns red and she hides her voluptuous breasts as Yuel stares at them in amazement.