Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
Since we’re standing around talking, Eris’ younger sister– Aria, suggests that we go inside the hospital. Then the three of us take our seats around the table.
「Onee-chan, you haven’t had lunch yet, right? I bought these on the way, so let’s eat together. Ah, you too Shiki-san, help yourself.」
Aria sets out the cuisine that she bought from the food carts on the table.
…I see. While we were on our way here, I thought she was buying an awful lot, but there’s no problem if we’re eating together with Eris. Right, she didn’t actually say that the two of us would be eating them by ourselves.
The food looks delicious. Precisely because the festival is near, there are numerous dishes lined up that I don’t normally see.
…But man, this situation.
When she finishes laying out the dishes, Aria rests her elbows on her chin and starts observing my appearance amusedly. Then, Eris makes a deep sigh.
I wonder how Eris will react to the fact that I brought her younger sister home for ‘take-out’.
Will she be angry, or shocked? Either way, a decline in my reputation is unavoidable. But it’s not like I have no excuse. Like the fact that I was just observing and hadn’t actually done it yet myself. And that her sister was the one who called out to me, so I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place.
To be honest, I kinda doubt that she’ll believe me, though. Based on my habitual behavior.
「Eris, this is, well, look, I can’t quite put it into words, there were c-complex circumstances…」
「…It’s fine. If you’re going downtown to pick up girls, I won’t get mad or anything.」
But, I’m unexpectedly excused. Innocent. An innocent verdict.
「Eh, you won’t? Even though he came all the way here with me.」
As for Aria, her eyes widen in total surprise too.
「…At any rate, weren’t you the one who called out to Shiki because you thought it would be amusing?」
I thought that Eris would be under the impression that I hit on Aria, but nope. It seems that Eris is familiar with Aria’s behavior patterns. That’s an older sister for you.
However, after that Eris’ gaze falls as she continues speaking.
「Besides, we’re not in that kind of relationship.」
…I don’t think you had to say that though. Look, Eris, why don’t you try being a little bit more bashful? More like “D-Don’t get me wrong, we’re not in that kind of relationship okay!”. Wouldn’t it be fine to do it that way?
「…Onee-chan, aren’t you and Shiki-san going out?」
「We are not.」
Then that declaration. Eris’ obstinate expression gives off an air of “I don’t want to talk about this anymore”.
Aria tilts her head at Eris’ attitude. Perhaps she didn’t expect that reply.
「…Hmmmm, I was totally convinced that you were… was I wrong? But in your letter… h-huhhh?」
Aria grumbles as she twists her head in puzzlement.
…And I’m suddenly very interested in that ‘letter’ word. My mind recalls Eris’ attitude this morning, and the way she refused to let me read the letter.
Don’t tell me Eris openly wrote out her innermost thoughts about me in her letter and they were enough to give Aria a misunderstanding? I wonder if it’s a thing where her stubborn attitude and her innermost thoughts differ. Now I’ve gotten kinda interested.
「But Onee-chan, you’re living under one roof with a man you don’t have that kind of relationship with? ……So this is what they call cohabitation, huh.」
Then Aria, who was twisting her head in puzzlement, suddenly comes to a conclusion and says that.
Eris, who was looking the other way, trembles with a jolt. Then she looks at Aria’s face, silently opening and closing her mouth, unsure what to say. She’s obviously flustered.
Eris isn’t saying anything to Aria. Furthermore, every time she looks my way and meets my eyes, she hastily averts her gaze downward. Her bangs are in the way so I can’t see her expression, but… she’s acting seriously suspicious.
Oh my, what could be the meaning of this?
By some chance, could it be…
Did Eris want to make it look like she hated the sexual harassment, but in truth that was only lip service? I wonder if there could be a development like that. It might be a thing where she says “I hate it, I hate it” while actually liking it. I’m starting to get kinda excited.
「Shiki-san, you’re living here too, right?」
This time, Aria directs the question at me.
「As a matter of fact, we always sleep in the same room together. Every night.」
On different beds, though; Yuel’s the only one I’m sharing a bed with.
「Eh? …N-No waaaay! I-Is that true!?」
Aria asks me with her eyes fully peeled, but I just nod stoically in response. It’s not a lie.
「…Whaaat, so you actually have some experience, Onee-chan! I’ve always been worried you’d be all lonely by yourself. I’m sooo relieved!」
Aria holds both hands to her mouth and squeals happily. By the way, Eris isn’t experienced.
However, Eris panics even more.
「T-That’s because I was worried about Yuel-chan, and… w-we’re in different beds! There’s really nothing going on! ……More importantly, aren’t you supposed to be helping to guard the city during the festival, as part of your knight academy training? I was in a hurry, so I haven’t done a thing to prepare your room yet.」
Ahh, a misdirection.
But man, her reaction is funny. So amusing it makes me want to keep poking at her. I wanna try asking Eris, “Hey, hey, why’re you living with me when we’re not going out?”.
…Nah, if I do that then she’ll surely say something like “You’re right, that’s abnormal.”, so I won’t do it. Eris really follows through when it counts. I mean, she already kicked me out once.
「Nnn, that’s true, but I was planning on staying here while I work. Although in the knight brigade, apparently you have to live in the dormitory if you’re unmarried so they can call you out at any time… so don’t worry about me, Onee-chan. I wish you two happiness, okay?」
「I-I’m telling you, we’re not in that kind of relationship…!」
Aria seems to be having fun teasing Eris. And yet, it also kinda seems like she’s hoping to set Eris up with me. In other words, is this what they call family approval? Somehow, I feel like the moat around Eris is gradually getting filled.
「Well, I also get the feeling that Shiki-san and Onee-chan don’t suit each other, though. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.」
But then she says too much. Besides, Eris is looking downtrodden, I’m guessing from being teased too much. She’s worn out.
Well, we may be living together, but we’ve only returned to the relationship we had back when when I was a boarder due to the fact that I bought back the hospital. The one thing that’s changed is that we no longer have that clearly-defined employment relationship. Assuming we ended up living together due to the course of events, Eris may not have thought about it too deeply.
…Somehow, I’m getting a little worried that thanks to Aria’s teasing just now, Eris will start to become conscious of the unwholesome arrangement and move out. Or maybe she’ll kick me out once she saves up enough money to pay me back the price of the hospital. Nah, no way. Probably not. I’d like to believe it’s fine.
「…Alright, it’s a bit early, but I gotta get over to the knight brigade station soon. Actually, they were telling me to show my face as soon as soon as I got to the city.」
Aria, perhaps satisfied from thoroughly teasing Eris about her relationship with me, remarks as she stands up.
「I’ll come again soon, Onee-chan! …Ah, Shiki-san, I don’t remember the location of the knight brigade station very well, would you mind taking me there?」
Then, asking me for guidance, Aria takes me by the hand and we leave the hospital.
With her ponytail swaying back and forth, Aria advances through the streets in high spirits.
「Shiki-san, what do you usually do?」
「Helping out with the hospital, entering the labyrinth, that kind of stuff.」
Man, even though I’m supposed to be guiding her to the knight brigade station, she’s walking ahead of me without asking for directions. Moreover, she’s been barraging me with questions the entire time.
「The labyrinth, huh! Onee-chan wrote that your healing ability was incredible in her letters, but you even fight monsters! Wow, you’re amazing.」
「M-More or less.」
I’d win against a Goblin if it’s 1v1. It’s not a lie.
「What do you use for a weapon?」
「Wow, I was certain you’d use a cane, or magic.」
So does that mean she sees me as weak?
…Well, I’d like to use offensive magic, but what I learned from the customers at the hospital previously was completely unusable. Next time, maybe I’ll have someone authoritative teach me.
「Ah, if you’re up for it, wanna have a match? Despite how I look I’m the top of my class at the knight academy, so I’m pretty confident.」
「T-Top of your class? That’s amazing. W-Well… eventually, if there’s an opportunity.」
I should come up with a good excuse and refuse. Or have Yuel sub for me. I don’t know if I would win against a knight cadet, let alone the top of the class.
I have no idea how many students there are at the knight academy, but I’m guessing that’s pretty impressive. They specifically sent her away to a school in the royal capital, so they must have had high expectations for her from the outset.
And, as we travel the main street while discussing such things–
Suddenly, a warm green color faintly glows in the corner of my eye. When I look over, there’s a lone woman in the middle of a crowd, treating wounded people. She has sleek black hair, and she’s wearing an expensive-looking ornamental habit. She’s still in her late teens at the latest. She’s quite a beauty. No tits though.
I stop walking to take a look for a little while, and it seems she’s performing treatment on citizens free of charge.
「That’s a priestess from the Church of Medine.」
The Church of Medine. If I remember correctly, Eris taught me before that it’s a religion with close ties to this world’s healing magic. I have a feeling it’s the official religion of this kingdom, too.
「That’s quite generous of them, to give out free treatment.」
「Isn’t it strange? They’ve always done that at the royal capital. Giving out treatment in front of crowds and soliciting donations like that. I’m guessing it’s because the festival is soon and lots of people have gathered here.」
The priestess treats another wounded person. Furthermore, that’s High Heal… no, EX Heal. Using a normal healer as the standard, ain’t that priestess quite excellent? Although, knowing EX Heal, it must have used up the rest of her magical power; she drops to one knee and breathes heavily.
Wait, this is the first time I’ve seen someone other than me who can use EX Heal. And I heard that even among the eminent members of the church, only a handful of them can use EX Heal. Perhaps that beauty is quite a big shot.
As I’m staring at the beautiful priestess like that, something tugs at the hem of my clothes.
It’s Aria. When I take a look to see what’s the matter, she’s making a sullen face as if I’ve done something wrong.
「…Shiki-san, that’s no good.」
Aria gives me an exasperated sigh and shrugs her shoulders in disappointment. Then her expression makes a complete change, tightening up as she looks at me.
「Shiki-san, I’ve… been thinking for a long time.」
Aria gazes right into my eyes and begins to speak.
The mood is serious. What could it be? I wonder if she’s gonna preach to me like “Shiki-san, this whole time you’ve done nothing but look at girls. You’re so unfaithful.”? If she does I won’t be able to deny it, though.
「I’ve been thinking. About Onee-chan. She never mentions it to me, but losing our mother and father and having to live all by herself, I’m sure it was dreadful for her.」
Never mind. So it was about Eris?
Certainly, Eris has had all sorts of troubles lately, like the weight of the debt and having to sell the hospital. But, considering Eris’ character, taking on debt for her sister’s sake and even having to sell the hospital, she wouldn’t tell the person in question no matter what.
I’ll stay silent about it too for the time being. It’s already been resolved anyway.
「In her letters, too, I sorta got the feeling she was trying too hard to write about cheerful things. I was a bit worried. That’s why… wanting to come see her was part of it, but… I’m relieved that she’s doing well.」
「Onee-chan is stubborn so she takes things seriously, but the way she feels about you, Shiki-san… I don’t think she thinks poorly of you. Onee-chan is not the kind of person who would live under the same roof with a man without a good reason.」
Aria was originally saying that she wanted me to guide her to the knight brigade station, but perhaps she actually wanted to have a heart-to-heart talk with me.
What sort of person was her older sister living with? And was Eris actually doing things properly with him or not?
I thought that she just found me amusing, but it seems I was mistaken. Then, Aria scratches her cheek awkwardly–
「So, please take good care of Onee-chan, okay? I want her to be happy.」
and bashfully tells me that.
After that I escort Aria to the knight brigade and return to the hospital. Then, soon afterwards…
「I’m leaving this place.」
…With no preface, Eris announces that with a serious expression.
What in the world does that mean?
I haven’t even said “What did you write about in your letters to your sister?” or “Why were you sleeping in the same room as me when we’re not going out?” yet. I haven’t especially done anything to make her angr… was it that? Was hitting on girls no good after all? No, it might have been due to Aria’s teasing.
That’s not what you told me, Aria-san. Didn’t Eris supposedly not think poorly of me?
「D-Don’t tell me it’s because of what she teased you about…?」
「…It’s not particularly related to what happened earlier. I wouldn’t leave the hospital over something like that. It’s just, seeing Aria’s face, and hearing her talk about staying at the dorm, I thought it was the perfect opportunity.」
「The perfect opportunity?」
Is it that she put up with living with me until now, but after being teased by Aria, she reconsidered me from a fresh perspective? She hates the kind of frivolous man who spends his free time picking up chicks downtown, so she’s leaving? I mean if I were Eris, I don’t think I would live together with a man like that.
「…When you went off with the knight brigade on that monster subjugation, that’s when I decided to do this someday.」
She must be referring to that time with the Krankheit Turtle. But I don’t see how that’s related. How did me going to subjugate a monster turn into Eris leaving the hospital?
「…What does that mean?」
「At that time, I was the only one left behind at the hospital… I’ve been thinking for a long time. Why was it that I couldn’t come along?」
Eris’ expression is earnest. Now that I think about it, Eris was worried for me at the time. I feel like she seemed a bit different from the usual Eris, both when we were leaving for the subjugation and when we returned.
「Moreover, after the poison mist spread into the city, I couldn’t run the hospital by myself, either… even though you used such incredible healing magic.
…That’s why, I want to at least become able to use High Heal, as a full-fledged healer.」
Certainly, if she was capable enough to use High Heal, she might have been able to accompany the subjugation unit.
…But being able to use that, forget about ‘full-fledged’, that’s already ‘elite’. Maybe it’s my fault, but I have a feeling that Eris’ perception is skewed.
Eris is by no means the leftovers. In the Krankheit Turtle’s case, since you have to treat quite a few people in one way or another, you need to have an average, no, a bit more more than an average amount of magical power as a healer.
「That’s why I’m going to study at the Church of Medine in the royal capital. Over there, I want to retrain myself from the beginning.」
I heard it from Eris soon after I came to this world. That the typical healer apparently trains at a church in the royal capital. It seems you can also do it at one of the churches in every town, but the royal capital is the place to go to aim higher as a healer.
Eris’ purpose is solid. But this can’t happen. I’m worried. I have to hold her back.
「I-I understand what you’re saying… but, what about the hospital?」
「I’ll close it for a while.」
This is dangerous. The diligent worker Eris is closing the hospital. She’s really serious.
「B-But I’m sure Yuel won’t want to be separated from you?」
In one way or another, Yuel is fairly attached to Eris. She’ll undoubtedly miss Eris if she’s gone.
However, Eris only knits her brows and looks down slightly. Then, she mutters in a tiny voice.
「Even so, I want just to be capable enough that I could have gone along with you at that time. I’m sick of waiting by myself for someone to come back.」
…That reminds me, there’s something that’s been bothering me. At the dinner party at the lord’s mansion, Eris was looking at Ruruka with envious eyes. From Eris’ perspective, the fact that Ruruka was there served as proof that she went along with the subjugation unit. And in reality, she did go along with the subjugation unit, as a guide. That look, that might have been envy over the fact that Ruruka was deemed capable enough to come along.
Besides, she’s had to endure a fair amount of house-sitting on her own.
I have some idea about it. The matter of her parents’ accidental demise. I’m certain that one day, she was house-sitting by herself and instead of her parents returning, what came was a letter informing her of their deaths.
And then with this subjugation, I ended up returning to the hospital covered in blood and looking like a tattered old rag. That might’ve dug up some old wounds in Eris’ heart.
I really screwed up. I get the feeling I stepped on a landmine.
Eris is stubborn. This is no good. It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to persuade her.
「…Assuming you do go to study in the royal capital, about how long will it take?」
「Let’s see… err, if I start over from the beginning, up until I learn High Heal, if that’s even possible for me… 3 years of meditation at the sacred ground that’s supposed to have a high concentration of magical power, 1 year for the pilgrimage to the holy land of the Church of Medine, and after that the lectures and volunteer activities for the church… about 5 years at the very least, I suppose.」
…I’ll persuade her after all. Not 5 years. I thought it’d be around a month, but 5 years is unthinkable. Out of the question.
「That’s no good, absolutely unacceptable.」
Eris is currently 18 years old. In 5 years she’ll be 23. What’s going to happen to a girl around that age, who’s a buxom blonde and furthermore a beauty, if I trustingly send her away?
If he’s got 5 years to work with, without a doubt I’ll get cucked by some handsome local priest. I mean, if I were a local priest, I have a feeling I’d fully abuse my authority to make it a done deal.
If it were 1 or 2 months I still could have given in, but 5 years is really too long.
By the time she thinks she’ll be back, Eris could’ve married a handsome, honest priest and became a mother of two. That’s how long 5 years is. That is totally not alright.
But how should I approach this? Eris seems to be seriously troubled by her own lack of healing magic ability. No ideas for how to quickly convince Eris are coming to mind. Nothing but a sigh.
「…D-Do you want to go that badly?」
「Isn’t it obvious?」
「I-Is… that so…」
Although, how can I persuade Eris? Once she makes up her mind, she probably really will go off for 5 years to study. I need to stay calm and think carefully.
…Perhaps there’s one way to solve it.
Eris’ objective is to improve her healing magic. In other words, if I can just raise her healing magic ability, that seems like a likely means to detain her.
In that case, how should I go about raising her healing magic ability?
Let’s think about it a little. This world’s healing magic involves magical power, knowledge, and faith. These 3 elements greatly influence it.
Having a lot of magical power enables you to use healing magic many times, and makes it possible to use healing spells like High Heal and EX Heal that consume large quantities of magical power. With knowledge you can comprehend the structure of the human body and decrease your magical power expenditure by using efficient healing spells. These two are common knowledge in this world, and I have personal experience with them too.
Then there’s the last one, piety. According to the doctrines of the Church of Medine, this world’s healing magic originates from “the power of faith”. And, the more devout a follower you are of the Church of Medine, the more you can draw upon the accumulated faith in god to invoke healing magic. Plus, the more faith you have, the greater the effectiveness of the healing magic. I don’t have much belief in the existence of god, but nevertheless my high healing magic ability could be related to the fact that I amassed faith in the new Japanese religion of “I myself”.
Of course there are various other elements like affinity and talent, but in general these 3 have the greatest influence on healing magic.
Most likely, the current Eris is lacking in all of them. Her magical power is average or not much higher, and she most likely hasn’t studied human anatomy in depth.
And I get the feeling that she isn’t that devout of a believer in god either. Perhaps because she’s been living in poverty, but she’s the type to work rather than pray.
I doubt that I can raise her magical power. I’ve heard that it’s necessary to spend a long time in a place with thick concentrations of magical power in order to raise it. That’s probably the sacred ground that Eris mentioned.
Piety is also off the table. I don’t have a shred of piety myself either.
But… how about knowledge? In my case, I could possibly fill in Eris’ knowledge. This world has developed some degree of medical treatment, but even so, I came from modern Japan so my knowledge should be much deeper. The more detailed knowledge Eris has about human anatomy, the more she should be able to use healing magic efficiently.
This is it.
「Eris, even if you don’t go study, I can improve your healing magic ability. I’ll prove it to you without fail. That’s why, could you please hold off on going?」
Since I thought it up, let’s try it right away. First, some preparations are necessary.
「Master! I just got back!」
As soon as I resolve to do it, Yuel returns.