「What, These Aren’t Medicinal Herbs? It’s a Monster!」 Part 1
The next morning, I wake up to the noise of the market.
I had stayed the night in the same inn as before. My sleeping position was also the same as before, sitting on the bed with my back against the wall.
Straightening out my stiff body, I grab my luggage and carry it to the first floor.
No one was at the counter again. I open the door and enter the main street, heading straight for the east gate.
In order to complete the request I received yesterday, I had to go to Rata village which was half a day away by horse.
I found a shop that sold bread while I was making my way through the market. There was only one type of bread, the texture is like a baguette, but it is shaped like a large piece of melon bread. The price was the same as the grilled rabbit I bought yesterday. It seemed a little expensive, but I buy it just to try it out.
After that I continued on my way, only stopping at the aqueduct to refill my gourd. The small plaza in front of the gate had several armored men hanging around, and their eyes frequently darted all around. Perhaps they are members of a mercenary corps that is based in town.
The gate is the same as the other, so I simply show my pass and leave out of it. I walk northward along the town wall, until I pass the wheat field’s moat. Along the way, farmers in the middle of the fields would stop what they were doing and bow their heads to me. They seem to think that I was a royal knight.
When I reached the north side of Rubierute, a larger pathway than the one leading here appeared. I push forward on this northward path. Once I was out of view of the field and pedestrian travel had stopped, I proceed to advance with 【Dimensional step】.
The route that I was told, instructed that I should take the left path at the fork in the road. After a while of traveling, a post stuck into the ground appeared at a split in the road. The left side deteriorated into a flatted grass path, indicating that it at at least had been used. While taking note that the path ran through the woods, I resumed my transfers down the now grass road.
On the other side of the forest, a village surrounded by a mud and log wall, and adjacent to a small field came into view. The village is surrounded by its own moat, and part of the gate seems to be suspended from some firm ropes. If an enemy tried to attack, the village could just drop a section of the the gate on them.
In front of the gate, were two old men with spears, that were sitting and sharing a story.
From here it was a short walk, when one of the men spots me, he quickly notified his partner. The two elderly men make a hand gesture in my direction before they resumed talking to one another.
While one of the men raised their spears, I ran right up to the village. To be honest, the impression the gatekeepers invoked did not seem all that reliable.
“kn-kn-Knight-sama! Wh-What business brings you you to such a remote village?”
“Hmm, there is no need to be so formal. I’m just an adventurer. I have come here today to complete the request of Marca of Rata village.”
“Marca? You don’t mean the oldest child of Senna do you?”
“Old man, could you guide me to Marca’s house?”
‘”Y-YES! No problem.”
After the reply, the old men let me into the village. While the other gatekeeper seemed annoyed because of the extra work, I paid him no mind as I continued into the village.
Once I entered, every pair of eyes in the village were centered on me. They were probably cautious because outsides, especially ones in full body armor, were a rare thing. I feel that the reaction will be the same everywhere I go……
The houses in the village, did not give off the feel of actual houses. They were more like huts then anything else.
The old man knocks on the door of one of the huts, and calls to the resident inside.
“Senna, are you in there!? There is a visitor here for you!!”
I hear the reply of a woman from inside, after a while the door is gently opened. However, I see no one within the gap. Lowering my gaze, a girl that looked around 10 years old is seen.
“Ah, Helena? Where is your mother? This knight here needs to talk with her.”
When the girl called Helena heard the old man’s questions, she opened the door completely and urged us to enter.
“Well Knight-sama, as for me……”
The old man said only that, before retreating back towards the gate.
“I’ll be entering”
Once inside the house, I saw a large stone fire pit, that had a pot set atop it. In the corner, some wooden tableware was arranged. On the floor of the rest of the home, were a couple wooden furnishings. A table with four chairs around it, and and 2 beds with screens around them.
The girl was standing next to the table with a worried expression. She had bowl-cut dark blond hair, and brown eyes that reflected an active mind behind them.
From the bed, limping along, came a women. She also had the dark blonde hair of the girl, but hers was tied in the back and reached her shoulders. Her clear blue eyes were surrounded by a delicate and freckled face. She was around 170 cm tall, and her abundant chest was masterfully bound within her dress like clothing.
“I am Helena’s mother, Senna. Wh-what business might you have with us? I do not believe that my family has any connections to a knight household……”
“My name is Arc. I’m not a knight, I’m an adventurer. So please relax yourselves. A lady with a bad leg, should be sitting when she talks.”
“Th-Thank you…… So what brings you to our home?”
The mother, Senna, bowed a little before sitting in one of the tables chairs. I also take a seat after she was firmly seated. It was a good sturdy chair.
To the question of my purpose here, I reached into my sack and showed her the request plaque.
“As I said my name is Arc, and I have taken up this request from the adventurer’s guild. A girl named Marca is the one that place the request. Is she here?
“Eh? She did such a thing?! Marca is out in the fields right now……, she should be back this afternoon.”
Unfortunately, the girl that made the request seems to be out for the time being. She’ll return around noon, it shouldn’t be that much of a wait. I could afford to stay here until then.
“I could wait here for her. ……If it isn’t to much trouble, could you tell me what happened to your leg?”
To kill my boredom, I try to start up a conversation. It was a little sad to watch her move around with that cloth bandage over her left leg.
“It’s fine. A large monster appeared close by recently…… I injured my leg while escaping, so now Marca has to work in the field alone. However, I’m one of the lucky ones. At the time of the incident someone died, causing the whole village to be thrown into turmoil……”
It appears that I picked the wrong topic, give the atmosphere in the house. Helena, who had been hiding behind her mother, glanced over my way when the atmosphere became heavy.
That reminds me, don’t I have the sub-class of pope? Shouldn’t I be able to heal her injury? It was, after all, it was the upper limit of the priest class. So a wide verity of healing and curse removal spells should be possible.
Wait, the high level healing abilities of a pope wouldn’t be needed. First I should test out the low level healing spells of a priest. Since I haven’t been injured since I came here, I haven’t had the chance to test out healing magic. I’ve only used the attack magic 【Flame】so far.
“Ma’am, if it’s alright with you, could I examine your leg. Since it’s been a while, I don’t know if it will work, but I can try to heal your leg.
“Huh? N-No, that’s……”
Confused at the proposition, the mother let out a high voice.
No wonder, I mean we only met today. Furthermore the other party’s face is concealed by a helmet. If suddenly asked to show you leg, you’d certainly want to refuse.
However, when young Helena heard that her mother’s leg could be healed, she stared at me for a moment. Then she gently lifted the wounded leg up, so that I could inspect it.
The mother, Senna, smiled wryly as she resigned herself to fate.
Agreeing to it, I place my right hand over the wounded leg and tried to invoked the spell.
Softly chanting 【Heal】, white lights appeared from my hand and wrapped around Senna’s leg. Upon contact, the lights were absorbed into her skin.
The mother and daughter vacantly watched the spectacle before them , but afterward Helena removed the bandage from her mother’s leg. What emerged from the bandage was a perfectly fine leg.
“Mom! There is no injury! No scars either!!”
Helena’s demeanor completely changed from a while ago. Now she had a large smile and could not seem to stop jumping for joy.
Looking at her daughter’s smile, Senna rubbed her head before bowing to me.
“Thank you very much. Arc-sama, you surely must be a famous priest. I can’t believe that there is no trace left of the wound……”
“No, I only wanted to try since it had been a while, I didn’t even have much confidence that it would work. The wound was healed, and that’s for the best”
Actually, this was my first time using recovery magic in real life, so I’m the one that is benefiting the most here…… Judging from her reaction, there seems to be an awareness of healing magic. Now only the extent of this world capability with it is unknown.
“I’m home mother.”
The eldest daughter, Marca, finally returned home from the field. The curious girl place a large collection baskets near the door. Her height was around 150 cm, and her light brown hair was tied into pigtails, that rested above her shoulders. Her blue eyes were the same as her mother’s. She was also tanned a healthy color.
“Marca, did you put out a request to the adventurers guild? I am here to complete that request. You are the requester right?”
“Ah! My request was received by Knight-sama?! The request was for a escort for medicinal herb collecting.”
“Are you mad! The herb collection is dangerous on its own! Yet you intended to go, even with the recent monster appearance?!”
“But……, The request fee has already been paid for and the reward was already posted……”
The mother, that heard the content of the request, harshly refused it. Marca frowned, as the request had already been paid for. I wonder what happens when the client abandons the request? The absurd notion of lost profits spring form my head.
“So! I will go to collect the herbs instead!”
“Wait a minute mother! How can you go collecting with that injured leg!”
“Quite down and listen Marca! Knight-sama has already healed my leg! Therefor it is alright for me to enter the forest!! Look.”
Senna lifted the hem of her skirt a little, to show Marca the completely healed leg. Upon seeing the healed leg, Marca looked my way in surprise.
“I’m grateful that my mother’s leg was completely healed. Mother, you don’t even know where the herbs grow! So it is pointless for you to go!”
Apparently the mother’s knowledge of medicinal herds wasn’t that high. Night might come before the mother and daughter finish this argument.
“You are the reason that I sought an escort. Did you see the state of that injury mother?!”
“Then it’s decided!! Knight-sama will guide you through the forest!”
After being told so, Marca picked up her basket and left the went outside. After realizing what just happened, I chase after her. As I left the house I received another thank you from Senna. If trouble appears, I can just grab Marca and escape with 【Dimensional step】.
When I look around in in the village, Marca was waving her hand at me near the gate. I hoist my sack over my shoulder again and start heading over there. Together with Marca, I leave the village and walk along its northern perimeter.
“Knight-sama, thank you again for taking this request. Half of the reason I needed to collect the herbs was because of my mothers injury. However, since Knight-sama already healed it, I only have one reason now.
Marca said so, while laughing amusingly.
“Hmm, so what’s this reason to go then?”
“Last year, my father passed away do to illness. I help in the field, but it is still quite hard on us. The medicinal herbs can be bought at a good price in the city, it could ease the strain on mother a little…… Every year, I picked herbs with my father, and he would sell them, you know.”
“To fully ease the strain of your mother would take a lot of herbs. Isn’t the trip also dangerous?”
“Don’t you know, going from this forest you will be at the foot of the wind dragon mountain range. In the deeper parts, you find things like land dragons or wyverns, but it should be safe if we stay in the shallow areas. Although, we can’t stay to long because there are more monsters here than in other forests.”
I listen to Marca’s explanation as we enter the forest. Apparently, northeast of our current location was the wild dragon mountain range. Far away the white summits of the mountains can be seen.
While advancing through the forest, the pressure to leave this place only grow the further we went in.
Marca seemed to have found something, as she started to run. We approached a piece of land that was more sunken in than the surroundings, and had many rocks at the center of the pit. Between the the rock, a small patch of plants could be seen.
Marca goes down there, and starts to fill her basket with the plants. An innumerable amount of lotus shaped plant seem to have been collected at a fast pace.
“This is the cocla medicinal herb. It is effective in the treatment of wounds and skin diseases”
While collecting the herbs, Marca shook her braids and explained the plant’s uses. I scanned our surroundings, but there were no signs of beast or monsters. So I went down to help collect the cocla plant myself. Seeing my clumsy state, Marca started to laugh.
It seemed that watching a man, well over 2 meters tall and in full body, struggle to pick plants was an amusing sight.
After an hour, the basket was half full with the cocla plants. Though there were still some plants left between the rocks, Marca said we were moving to the next site. The next site was apparently the main collection site.
Once again the pressure to leave increased as we went farther along. When the wild animals noticed the pressure, they turned heel and ran, although we have yet to encounter any monsters.
We advanced in the forest for a while, before coming across a clearing. A gentle slope extends out, as I notice that the surrounding tree branches were a pale white, and that the trees were enclosed by circles of fallen white flowers. A sweet fragrance was also carried by the wind.
“We made it! The flowers are in full bloom! The kobumi tree branches are all pale white!!”
Filled with joy, Marca began to run toward the line of kobumi tress at full speed. I quickly tried to let out a warning for Marca to remain still. Beyond the tress, I saw a rock like object. But unlike a normal rock, this thing gave of the feeling of a living being.
“Marca, don’t move!! Something is hiding there!!!”