Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
Author’s Note: Another long one.
In the distance, I see the silhouettes running off into a back alley. I’m going to lose sight of them at this rate. Reflexively, I follow after them as they disappear into the back alley.
As I turn down the alley in pursuit, I spot five shadows a few dozen meters ahead. I strain my eyes and try to get a good look.
…One of the five is carrying something over his shoulder.
Just what could he be holding? I have a bad feeling about this. The closer I get as I run, their figures gradually become more distinct.
It’s a sack.
One of the five shapes is carrying a sack, large enough to hold a single person. And that sack is wriggling, as if there really is someone inside…
「Tch… stop struggling!!」
One of them drives his fist into it, upon which it stops moving and goes limp.
–No doubt about it. Inside that sack, there’s a person.
…Eris wasn’t in the hospital. And the front door was left open. The one inside that sack is… Eris, presumably.
But why Eris? Is the public order in the city this bad? What’s their goal? Ransom? Or is it her body? Questions spring up, but I don’t have time to think about them right now. If I lose sight of them once, it’s over. For now, I need to catch up with those men no matter what.
As the alley bends, the men run down one narrow path after another. But the silver lining to this cloud is that because they’re carrying Eris, I should be able to catch up with them. I quiet my footsteps as I get closer, and retrieve my mace from my item box. I’m about to rush in and start swinging at them — but I notice something as I approach.
…All of them are armed.
They have swords, knives, and various other weapons in easy-to-reach positions. Even though I’m at a 1 vs. 5 disadvantage, they even have weapons?
Should I have woken Yuel before I chased after these guys? No, Yuel was on the second floor of the hospital, and moreover, she was sound asleep. If I went back to wake her up, I very likely would’ve lost sight of these guys.
…But facing five opponents by myself, my chances of victory are slim.
…What do I do? Do I fight? Do I call for help?
It’s late at night. The neighborhood is deathly still. It seems like these men have chosen places with no signs of people to run to, as I haven’t come across a single person I could call for help.
I wonder if someone would come if I shouted in a loud voice?
…Nah, it’d be bad if those guys noticed my presence.
A 1 vs. 5 against armed men. No matter how advanced my healing magic is, it’s not like I’m invincible. If I get surrounded by 5 people, and they thrust a sword into my head from behind, it’ll mean certain death even for me. Perhaps these guys will finish me off and run off somewhere else before any help arrives.
Besides, even if someone does come to help, there are five opponents. Even if I had people with knight-class ability, I doubt we could win with just one or two of them. And even if people just strong enough to win come, it’s possible that a few of these men could hold us off while the one holding Eris escapes. If I lose sight of them once, I have no way of finding them again.
…If that happens, it’s all over.
I could maybe have the knights investigate the next day, but the next day is no good. Eris is a totally charming woman of a marriageable age. If I let time pass after she’s kidnapped, I don’t know what will happen to her.
I continue to follow the men indecisively, making sure not to lose sight of them or let them notice me.
Think. Think, dammit. Of some way to save Eris from those men. Just rescuing her isn’t good enough; I’ll need to have a plan for how to get away from those five once I have Eris in my arms.
Hit the man carrying Eris from behind, then once I’ve recovered her, scatter some Slime Jelly?
…No, such a makeshift strategy is no good. If I’m carrying Eris, the men will probably catch up to me in less than a minute.
Oh right, I received a smoke bomb from Yuel at the orphanage.
Can’t I use this to get away from them? …No, but even if there’s a smokescreen it won’t erase the sound of my footsteps. It’s late at night. Since there aren’t any people in the streets, my footsteps will ring out clearly. Right now they’re running too so they haven’t noticed my presence, but if they listen carefully for me, it’ll be a simple matter to determine which way I run off.
Rather, if I attack them from behind, can I even rescue Eris? Even if I attack the one carrying Eris over his back, I can only picture the other four immediately beating me up. Besides, if the five of them split with some carrying Eris while the rest detain me… that would be the worst. In the end, I would lose sight of Eris right there.
Most likely, for Eris, everything is hanging on my actions. I absolutely can’t screw this up.
What do I do? What would be the best approach…?
…As I continue to rack my brain, the men slow their running pace. I wonder if it’s because they’ve gotten enough distance from the hospital?
Just like that, the men start a conversation.
「Jeez, Archbishop-sama sure is rough on his men, huh? All like “Today, quickly go kidnap that woman”.」
The hell did he just say? Archbishop…? Why did that name come out just now?
…Is the archbishop the one behind Eris’ abduction?
「Well, it’s fine, ain’t it? This is the last job for us, right?」
Besides, he said “today, quickly”. In other words, does that mean that the reason for Eris’ kidnapping arose today?
I was together with Eris all day today. Let me rethink today’s events.
Having come this far, I finally understand. The reason why Eris was kidnapped by members of the church.
…That reason can’t be anything other than my EX Heal, can it?
What happened today… Eris and I went to the orphanage. At the orphanage, I used EX Heal on Farah.
At the time, the archbishop’s underlings were supposedly looking around the orphanage to confirm its state of deterioration. And, when I went off to search for Farah… I couldn’t find her right away.
…Don’t tell me that she met with one of the archbishop’s subordinates?
Since I healed Farah’s eyes with EX Heal, she was suddenly able to see straight when she couldn’t before. She was totally elated. That’s precisely why, when her precious ring that she received from the saint was taken away, she was able to forgive it with a smile. I’m sure that everything she saw was fresh to her, so she wasn’t able to contain her joy.
…That girl is still a 7-year-old child. Maybe it was inevitable that she’d want to share her joyous feelings with somebody. If she were to blurt out the fact that her sightless eyes were treated to anyone nearby… there wouldn’t be anything strange about that.
But if Farah had told the archbishop’s underling that I’m the one who healed her, right now I’d be the one inside that sack instead of Eris. Something… feels a little off.
…Wait, I reminded Farah to “absolutely never tell anyone that I’m the one who healed you”. I’m sure that even if Farah told the archbishop’s underling that she received treatment, she definitely would’ve obeyed that part. So, when the archbishop’s subordinate pressed her with questions, she must have said that.
Instead of me, she said “Eris-san healed them”.
If that’s the case, everything makes sense.
The conversation between the archbishop and his underling that I heard while I was hiding in the closet. That wasn’t about the ring that Farah received from the saint. It was about them misconstruing that Eris had the same level of healing magic ability as the saint.
Why was Eris kidnapped on the archbishop’s orders? Maybe the church has expectations related to EX Heal for her after all. I don’t know what kind of expectations, though. But stuffing her into a sack and carrying her away, I can’t imagine they’re going to be completely above-board ones.
This isn’t some invitation to an important post within the church, like I naively imagined.
Kidnapping someone is a criminal act. Even for the church, if it came to light that they did such a thing, it would likely be a huge scandal. And yet, the fact that the church abducted Eris… that means they’re confident that she won’t ever report it to the knights or the lord.
Why would the church be so confident that they won’t be indicted for kidnapping Eris? Either they’re sure that Eris will come to an agreement with them after a discussion, or they intend to take away her freedom to report it.
There’s no doubt in my mind, it has to be the latter. I don’t know what method they’re going to use. Maybe a slave crest, maybe locking her up somewhere… or maybe they even intend to kill her. At the very least, if I let these guys get away now, I’m sure that Eris will never see the light of day again for the rest of her life.
My opponent is an archbishop of the church. He oversees this city and the surrounding region, a leader among leaders. He’s rich, plus he has influence and that unit of men that he can even order to commit criminal acts. In the worst case, he may have more power than the lord of this city.
Supposing I do succeed in rescuing Eris, what about the aftermath? I could appeal to the lord, but the influence of the archbishop, and the Church of Medine as the state religion of this country, is great. There’s even the possibility that the lord would prioritize the archbishop over me.
In that case… a fugitive existence.
Within the walls of this city, we’d have to remain hidden while scurrying from place to place. Even if we fled from the city, monsters would be waiting outside.
The future ahead of me is looking grim. I can’t make an enemy of authority. I should have known such a thing.
Follow the men. Just keep following them.
But no plan is coming to mind for how to rescue Eris and get away. I can’t think of a single good way to overturn the circumstances, neither in the short term nor the long term. Eris is an important existence to me. I have to protect her no matter what.
…That’s exactly why I won’t be able to forgive myself if I jump in without thinking and lose sight of her.
And, as I’m agonizing over it while I follow behind the men… we arrive.
At the church. It really was the church. The men carry Eris through the main gates of the church without hesitation and head inside.
N-No, this isn’t the time to be startled.
I need to follow them. Letting Eris out of my sight would be unwise. But… after all, walking in through the front door would be a suicidal act.
…I take a look around the church, and one of the windows on the first floor is open. I’ll sneak in through the window; there’s no other way.
Using the bushes as cover, I approach the window while staying out of the moonlight, and peek in through it.
There are 1, 2, 3… 4 beds inside.
…This appears to be a bedroom for people who work at the church. Doesn’t seem like anyone is currently using it though; there are no signs of people. I enter the room through the window, and swiftly approach the door.
After that, to avoid making any sound, I open the door softly.
…However, I can hear voices. Hurriedly, I continue down the hallway in the direction of the voices. Quickly, but making sure not to cause any noise.
After a short time, I come out into an open area.
This place, where ephemeral moonlight shines in through stained glass, must be the so-called place of worship.
Concealing my body, I peek into the place of worship… and Eris is there. Looks like they’ve taken her out of the sack; her arms and legs are bound and her mouth is gagged.
Also… including the archbishop and those men, there are around ten church members present. I was hoping it was a lie, but it would seem the archbishop truly was the ringleader behind this kidnapping.
Eris is glaring at the archbishop from a prone position on the ground. Looks like she’s regained consciousness. I was worried when that man hit her from over the sack, but it must not have been anything serious.
Eris tries to say something to the archbishop in protest. But since her mouth is gagged, she can’t form the words.
As I observe from around the corner, I notice Eris’ legs trembling slightly.
…Well, naturally. She was abducted all of a sudden. Furthermore, she was struck, restrained, and is currently lying on the ground. Anxiety and fear must be dominating her mind.
I want to get her out of here right away.
…But, there are so many enemies. If I rush in without a strategy, without a doubt I’ll just die in vain. It’s vital for me to stay calm and think carefully.
As I thought, it would be impossible for me to extricate her by myself. However, this is unmistakably the destination they were carrying Eris to. From now on, if I can quickly call for help, it may be possible to rescue Eris before any danger befalls her. And the minute I think that,
「For the longest time, I’ve been searching for a woman like you.」
the archbishop takes something out of his pocket and turns to address Eris. What’s he holding in his hand… a jewel? It’s a small gemstone with a pale violet glimmer to it.
「Enough mana capacity to even use EX Heal. And that body, as if you were the real succubus in the flesh. You are assuredly the very ideal vessel I have been seeking.」
When Eris hears “EX Heal”, her head droops as if she’s come to a realization. Then, not showing the slightest indication of trying to deny it, she goes silent. The archbishop pays her no heed and continues his monologue.
「With you as the vessel, I can finally revive the succubus sealed within this jewel in her complete form… I’ve waited so long, truly, I’ve waited so long for this day.」
…Revive the succubus? What the hell is this guy talking about?
…Wait, it was written in the Bible of the Church of Medine that the succubus was sealed by the church. And this guy is an archbishop of that very same church. Could he actually know the method to revive her…?
…And besides, that word “vessel”. I have an extremely bad feeling about it.
「Think of it as an honor. In the final moments of your life, I will personally instruct you in the joys of being a woman, in full. You will need to be experienced, after all. And lewdness is also necessary in order to raise the compatibility between the succubus and the vessel.」
Is he already imagining Eris nude? The archbishop’s nostrils flare as he proclaims with a vulgar face. His hands reach out towards Eris, tied up on the ground. What’s going to happen next? Judging from the archbishop’s repulsive face and his speech just now I can pretty much predict it, though I’d rather not.
No good… I don’t have time to call for help.
–Even now, that man’s hands are trying to touch Eris. And the other church members seem to be complicit; they’re gazing on with amusement.
The only one here who can come to Eris’ aid is me. I have to do something.
It’s not a sure-fire strategy to get away from these guys. But if I leave the church now to call for help, I’ll surely regret it.
I don’t have time to hesitate anymore. I plunge my hand into my item box.
And I take out the smoke bomb.
In any case, I’ll obscure their vision with a smokescreen and take Eris out of this church. After that, I’ll bring her with me as run with all my might while shouting for help.
…Although I have no idea how far away I’ll get. They may catch me immediately.
But… I have to do it.
「S-Smoke!? Is there a fire!?」
「It’s a smokescreen! Shit, did the knights sniff us out!?」
「No, that’s not it, it’s a lone man! The exit, bar the exit!」
I approach within the smoke, lift Eris up with both hands, and run with all my might. Since I set off the smoke bomb indoors, I can’t even see a meter in front of me in the current situation. Relying on my memory, I head in a straight line towards the exit.
…Within the spreading smoke, my eyes meet with Eris’ in my arms. Her mouth is gagged, but I don’t have the leeway to remove it right now. When Eris sees my face, her eyes become a little watery.
「Sorry, Eris. This happened because of my healing magic… but I’m going to try my best to get you out of this.」
Eris mutters something or other and buries her face in my chest; perhaps her tension has loosened.
…I’m sure that she was truly frightened. But it’s too early to feel relieved. The struggle from this point forward will decide whether or not we get away.
「Are you serious…」
Immediately after that, I pick up the signs. My way forward… the exit, is already defended. There are perhaps three or four people there.
I turn on the spot to find a different way out.
I can’t see that well in front of me due to the smokescreen, but at any rate all I can do for now is run away. I turn my head full circle, remembering the layout before I used the smoke bomb, and run with all my might.
「Oi, over here! He’s over here! 」
At the same time I come out into the hallway where the smoke is thin, I hear a voice behind me. My senses tell me that the sound of footsteps is getting closer. If we’re caught by that number of people, it’s over for us. In any event, if I don’t find some way out of this church soon…!
Holding Eris, I continue running down the hallway.
「Don’t think we’ll let you get away with this!」
「Don’t let the man return alive under any circumstances! Take back the woman!」
The archbishop’s underlings are chasing us from behind. Their voices are steadily getting closer.
…This is impossible after all. With me carrying Eris, they’ll soon catch up.
And the second I think that– I see a door nearby.
I dive through the door and immediately glance around.
…Looks like this is a resting room, too. There are multiple beds laid out within.
I hurriedly close the door, and go to lock it… but this door doesn’t have a lock. I can hear the footsteps outside getting closer. Oh crap, oh crap.
However, right beside the door there’s a large closet. I lower Eris onto a bed temporarily,
and then, with all my strength, I push the nearby closet over in the direction of the door. The closet makes a loud thud as it falls in front of the door.
–Immediately afterwards, the doorknob rattles. However, it doesn’t open. The fallen closet is jammed between the pillars, successfully blocking the door.
「So much racket, what time do you think it is!? Lemme sleep! …Fer cryin’ out loud.」
My relief is short-lived. This time, a voice comes from inside the room.
「Bardas! So you were in there! Kill that man and open the door! Right this instant!」
The voice of that archbishop comes from the other side of the door.
I scan over the inside of the room one more time.
…On the opposite wall, there’s a window that looks large enough for a person to fit through. Standing between me and that window is a big, muscular man.
…Most likely, he was sleeping on a bed until just now. Since I was in a hurry, I didn’t notice him. Then the man, whom the archbishop called Bardas, looks at me.
「…Whaaat? What exactly is goin’ on here?」
This guy, I remember him.
Back when Ruruka and I discovered that dragon together in the old town. He’s that thuggish priest who passed by us soon afterwards on our way back.
–A certain possibility crosses my mind.
The dragon used in the raid on the saint at the beauty contest, and this priest who was nearby. Now that they’ve kidnapped Eris, I don’t think that the two are unrelated.
…Don’t tell me that the raid on the saint was also the archbishop’s doing?
–Everything clicks into place in my head.
That archbishop, he claimed that his goal was to bring back the succubus. And from the word “vessel”, the reason they abducted Eris… in order to revive the succubus, a woman capable of using EX Heal… no, perhaps “a woman” “with enough mana” to use EX Heal, is necessary. For that purpose, the archbishop no doubt set up the attack to coincide with the festival so he could target the saint when she visited this town.
In the raid on the saint, they used monster-manipulating collars that are often employed by evil god adherents. There’s a bit of a problem with that. Magic tools are fundamentally expensive. How in the hell would some evil god cult stock up such a vast quantity of magic tools?
Even if they bought up all the ones produced by the labyrinth, even if they were doing their own research and development, either way they would have needed a huge amount of money.
…Most likely, the archbishop was using the welfare money he squeezed out of the surrounding region as his source of funds.
「That man is trying to run away with the vessel woman! Kill him and take back the woman!」
The man called Bardas looks at me and Eris and makes a short whistle. Then he speaks.
「Oi oi oi oi, this here’s the vessel woman you were talkin’ about? She got a niiice body, don’t she! Hey, Archbishop-sama, yer gonna turn ‘er into the succubus like we planned, yeah? …Innat case, ain’t no problem if’n I get a little taste of her first, riiight!?」
「Wait, I was going to do it! You’re just a mere hoodlum, who do you think hired you into the church! …But, well, today is a day to commemorate. If you kill that man, you’ll get your turn too before we make her into the succubus.」
The man and the archbishop completely ignore Eris’ will in their conversation. An uncomfortable sweat runs down my back.
…These guys live in a different world than me. They don’t feel the slightest hesitation towards killing me or harming Eris. It would seem that Eris has gotten dragged into something truly ugly.
「…Yeah, I guess. Anyhow, I’m gonna get to do whatever the hell I want with the gals in town once the succubus revives. Might as well warm up first, huh?」
The man called Bardas looks at me. He’s a muscular man. And he’s tall. His physique is overwhelmingly superior to mine. I try using the Appraisal skill… and there’s something called Grappling Arts.
He’s a skill holder, to boot? Even one-on-one, this could be seriously tough.
But if I don’t defeat this guy, it doesn’t seem like we can escape.
From outside, I can hear the door being hit hard in order to force it open. I don’t know how long that door will hold. It seems solidly made, so it shouldn’t be smashed that easily, but…
Yet if they do bust down the door, I’ll be caught in a pincer attack between this man and the others, and then I’d be finished for sure. I’ll defeat this guy before the door gets smashed in, and escape through the window.
He who strikes first wins. I put my strength into my fist and take aim.
I’ll aim at his chin. There’s no time. I’ll knock him out with a swift strike.
「Yeah, let’s go for an arm first.」
However, he grabs my arm. Then, swinging the arm up, he proceeds to twist it.
…However, the man instantly reduces the force slightly. As if he finds my pain amusing, he alternates between putting his strength into it and loosening up. When I look at his face, he’s grinning.
…I’m being toyed with.
Then, there’s a sudden snapping sound. A heavy, dull pain attacks my arm and echoes through my brain. It’s broken. With no hesitation, he fucking broke it.
「What gives, yer just a weakling, aintcha?」
The man makes a bold smile as he speaks. I already knew it, but… this guy is strong.
By the time I notice, I’m drawing back. Step by step, I back away.
…His Grappling Arts skill. He’s a size bigger than me, and has that muscular physique. I need to defeat him immediately and get out of here, but I can’t see myself winning. Unconsciously, I end up taking a distance.
–When I do, my foot hits something.
It’s a bit of a soft sensation. I look down at my feet… and Eris is there, still gagged. She’s looking at my broken arm with a bitter face.
–The realization hits me. It’s only a broken arm.
I’m the only one who can save Eris now. This isn’t the time to be backing away leisurely. No matter the cost, I have to defeat this man.
One more time, I turn back to the man. I prepare my resolve. The main swings at the other arm this time. I aim for his chin again.
「Yeah yeah, this’ll be the second one.」
It’s a reenactment of the previous time. The man laughs in contempt and twists my arm forcefully. My joints scream in agony, and it feels like my whole body is being dragged along by my arm.
–Eris is behind me.
Resisting the force the man is putting into my arm, I push against it with all my power. With a snap, the sensation of stiffness in my arm disappears. With the exception of the arm that’s being held, I’m freed.
Surprised that I would break my own arm, the man’s eyes open wide.
–I drive my right arm, the one he broke originally, into his dumb-looking face.
It was only a broken arm. I can use healing magic. Something to this extent doesn’t even count as an injury.
「Bastard, that arm… yer a healer, huh. But y’know, this is how you throw a punch!!」
Before I notice, his fist is sinking into my abdomen.
…It’s no use. My punch wasn’t effective at all.
An unpleasant watery sound comes from within my body. The contents of my stomach rise up to my throat. My knees grow unsteady, and for a moment, it seems like I’m going to fall towards the man.
I hear Eris’ muffled shriek.
I cast healing magic.
–Losing is not an option.
Straining all my power that the healing magic returned to me, I grab the man’s head, and bash my own head into it. I stagger a little from the pain, but the same goes for him.
「Gah… y-you bastard, don’t get carried away!」
Shaking his head lightly, the man raises his fist. He probably wasn’t expecting a counterattack.
…His attacks are becoming more pronounced from his rage. If it’s like this, even I can tell. A straight right, to the head, that’s what this guy is aiming for.
I can’t move to avoid it. Because I… was thinking the same thing. But, I don’t need to avoid it. I throw a straight right at full force as well.
–My fist hits the man’s face right on the chin, and his fist smashes into my chin.
I cast healing magic.
I see the man look down as he stumbles unsteadily. Now’s my chance. I have no need for something like moderation. I retrieve my mace from my item box, and aiming for the man’s head, I swing it down at full power.
–With this, it’s over.
However, just before my mace makes a direct hit on the man, he grabs my arm and crushes it.
Twisting my arm, he thrusts his knee at my face. His knee sinks into my face. My nasal bone breaks, and I feel his knee drive deeper in. As a reflex, I invoke healing magic.
…That was dangerous just now. For a moment, my consciousness was flying away.
「Tch… cocky fucker… hm? Ain’t that a nice thing ya had.」
The man picks something up off the ground.
…That’s the metal mace I just dropped. Oh crap. I immediately protect my head, as the mace swings down onto it. I hear the sound of bone shattering.
「Hey, heyheyhey, how ya like that!? Try an’ heal that! Lemme see just how long yer mana will last!」
Again and again, he swings the mace down onto the same spot. I repair my arms with healing magic, but the next attack immediately comes flying in. The pain never ceases.
From behind, I hear a scream. It’s Eris’ muffled voice.
–I pull my mind together as it’s on the verge of surrendering to the pain. Every time I’m hit, I recover my arms with healing magic.
「It ain’t over yet!」
Not just my arms; my shoulders, my torso, my legs. With each attack, my consciousness slips further away from the pain. But, so that my head doesn’t take a direct hit from the mace, I continue to protect it with both arms.
A pool of blood starts to form at my feet. Perhaps I’ve been bleeding a considerable amount. I don’t even want to imagine how I look from Eris’ perspective.
The mace barrage continues. It doesn’t let up.
After a while, the man returns the mace to his shoulder, out of breath.
…In the end, I have no feeling in the arm that received that last mace hit. When I take a look, from within my arm that’s dyed bright red, I can see bone sticking out.
…Is this what’s known as an open fracture?
When I notice it, a burning pain runs through my arm.
–But, from behind, I hear Eris frantically trying to tell me something with her wordless voice.
–I can still fight. I stand up. And, one more time, I turn to face the man.
However, it doesn’t seem that the man was expecting me to stand back up. Seeing me raise my fists once again, he’s clearly confused.
…Well, I’m probably the only one whose mana wouldn’t run out after healing wounds like these over and over.
「…Y-You… what’s going on! H-How are you still standing!」
「…The one thing I take pride in is my healing magic.」
I don’t know if he heard my answer or not, but the man comes shouting while swinging the mace. Did I throw him off his game? He’s swinging even more wildly than before, making it easier to tell where he’s aiming. He’s targeting my abs. Who cares about my torso. I don’t try to evade. Before the mace hits me, I drive my right fist into the man’s face.
Right after, the mace hits me dead on, and I hear the sound of several ribs breaking.
Blood gradually rises and trickles from my mouth, but the wound is already healed.
I stand once again, and raise my fists.
…Before I noticed it, the man known as Bardas has become unsteady on his feet. Countering like this appears to be working. Besides, even though this guy is a priest he somehow doesn’t seem to be able to use healing magic.
「Shit, shit, shiiiiiiiiiit!」
The man swings the mace recklessly. Protecting only my head from a direct hit, I plunge my fist into the man’s face once more. Then, I treat my injuries. We repeat these exchanges.
…No, this way of doing things is inefficient.
Right, why am I conscientiously waiting until I receive an attack to heal myself?
I cast healing magic. Consecutively, I continue to invoke it.
「EX Heal, EX Heal, EX Heal, EX Heal, EX Heal, EX Heal, EX Heal.」
My entire body is enveloped in a soft, green light. Continuing to cast healing magic, I approach the man.
My arm takes a direct hit from the man’s mace swing.
–The broken bone immediately mends itself.
The man’s kick firmly impacts my torso.
–The pain vanishes in an instant.
「What the… what the hell are youuu! Why, why won’t you dieeeee!!」
The man backs away from me with a face that’s somehow frightened.
–From behind, I hear Eris moaning. This voice, could she be crying?
If I lose here, Eris’ fate will be sealed. I have a reason that I absolutely cannot lose. Stubbornly, I clench my fists.
「S-Shiiiit! There’s no way I can lose to this guyyyyyyyyyy!」
When I take a step towards the man, he furiously swings the mace. However, in his frenzy, he doesn’t put his hips into it.
…If it’s like this, my fists should still be superior.
–The man’s mace hits me square in the shoulder. However… it’s already healed. Unflinchingly, I take another step towards the man.
「How… can this…」
The man looks at me like he can’t believe what he’s seeing. The mace slips from his hand and crashes to the floor.
–I raise my firmly clenched fist.
I can still count the number of combat experiences I’ve had so far. In terms of simple strength, this man is likely many times above me. If this were a back alley brawl with nobody else around, I’d run away at full speed.
But, things are different now. Eris is behind me.
Putting all my power behind my fist, I drive it into the man’s face. A simple straight right.
…But, for the fatigued and disoriented man, it looks like this fist alone is enough. He’s blown straight backwards, and the back of his head slams hard into the stone wall.