SMage 49 – Healer
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“From now forth, Lady Eliane will denounce her name, family, and status to only be known as Priestess Elia, servant of the Light. She will be the guiding light to this person of her person choosing, Artus. This is the decree of the Lord of Light, the Divine Ascendant himself, and no one shall oppose it,” announced one of the men in the white robe. 

‘Or face the consequences,’ Artus continued inside his head on behalf of the robed men. He was sure everyone else would have the same, exact thought.

‘Would they try to kill me if I try to refuse her now?’ that thought bothered him. ‘And this Divine Ascendant, is he a real person?’

Something told him there was more to the Lord of Light than just the church’s top leader. It was just a hunch but maybe Nusia might know what was the real deal with this church. She had used them to find him in the first place.

Based on what he saw, the speaker’s voice was clearly amplified until who knew how far, but it was safe to say everyone around the dungeon entrance had heard it. The former lady then knelt right before him while everybody watched in murmured silence. The gorgeous, bosomy, blue-haired lady then looked up and smiled brightly as if her devious plan had succeeded.

She was right because Artus didn’t see this coming at all.

Maybe he shouldn’t have asked her to choose her own path. Did she have this plan in her mind all along? The lady he knew wasn’t really the religious type at all, and this was why he was able to connect with her. 

It took him a moment to realize the glaring truth. The crazy bitch had lost her mind. 

But she was his crazy bitch now, and some part of it was his own fault. He could have divorced a concubine but he never could get rid of her now. All she needed was one resigned look from him and she already leaped into his arms as if they were long lost, lovers. 

However, her willingness to denounce everything, her status, fame, and inheritance just to be with him had to mean something. No one in both worlds had ever done something like this for him. She had become basically a willing slave to prove her devotion to him.

That had softened him somehow.

The two men in robes gave a short bow before they quickly retreated while Eliane, no, Elia was kissing his face. Both of the robed men looked really relieved more than anything else as they literally ran away from the woman. One of the robed men even turned to give a sorry look to him. He wondered how much trouble she had caused them just to get herself to this position. 

His newly formed team was dead silent while they walked towards the dungeon.

Elia created three balls of lights and let them hover before anyone even noticed the sudden darkness. He guessed that her affinity was [Light] based on how effortless she did it. Before anyone began questioning him he had to make sure why she did what she had done.

“Why the hell do you choose to be a priestess, Eliane? You could have chosen to enlist into the academy and I could have understood why.”

“I’m Elia now,” she huffed as if he had missed the announcement. “Well, as a priestess, I get to decide who lives or who dies, isn’t that wonderful?” Elia giggled happily as she grabbed onto his arm. 

Her answer didn’t make any sense at all but it did have an effect on others around them. As usual, the former lady pulled his arm into her abundance chest, drawing attention from everyone. 

“I don’t think that’s how healers work, Elia,” Artus corrected her.

“I know exactly how healers work,” she replied with a disappointed huff. “I just don’t like people taking those kind healers for granted. I’ll only heal the people I like.”

Artus let out a long tired sigh. What kind of logic was that? How was she able to be a priestess with that kind of attitude? Shouldn’t priestesses be pure and innocent? 

Silence ensued for a while when everybody in the team didn't know what to say. Everything had happened too suddenly. Artus let out another sigh. He wondered his plan had been ruined by her existence.

“Everyone, this is Elia, I met her during my journey here,” he said simply. “She is our healer and she WILL heal anyone that needs it,” he insisted.

Elia protested with a pout but her thick lips didn’t say anything about his decision.

“You can’t just ‘meet’ some like her,” Jacob stated as the matter of fact. “She was from a well-known magi family for goodness’s sake. A pleb like you will be full of arrows before you even get anywhere near her.”

Artus chuckled, “yes, they had tried to do just that.”

Paige gasped before her hand grabbed his other arm. Artus patted her hand to ensure her.

“But of course, the useless guards failed miserably,” Elia continued for him. “At least, it is for a good thing. I get to know Artus's wonderful specialty.” 

Felicia looked around in confusion while others already had known about his [Arcane Shell] capability. Some of them knew a lot more than the others especially Elia. She was among few who knew it could be used offensively.

“Elia, this is Paige, my formal Oath partner. Be nice to her, she’ll be a lady soon enough.”

The blue-haired priestess huffed, “I don’t envy her at all, only in that lady part, of course.”

“Paige? A lady?” Jacob scoffed in disbelief. “What kind of lies are you spinning right now?”

A massive headache began to form at his temple. His patience was running thin.

“I see you have already bought the new light tube, Felicia?” Artus pointed at the thing strapped on her bandoleer. “That thing is in fact Paige’s ticket to ladyhood and the academy.”

“You mean this?” Felicia took out the wooden tube. “One hundred of these samples are sold by the Guild. I- I barely able to get one. It sold like nothing before after a simple demonstration. This is her invention!!?”

He sensed something odd from the girl’s body language. A mix of revulsion and regret. What she had traded to buy such limited ware? Her body or something? Artus decided to ignore it for now.

“Yes, be a good girl and just show what it could do to this fine young man here,” Artus said to her.

Asking Felicia to be a good girl had some effect on her. Felicia looked at him in disbelief but she didn’t say anything, and she even did what he had asked.

Collective gasps sounded when there was a bright circular spotlight that appeared on the stonewall further away. Both Jacob and Elia were in awe but they had very different reactions. Jacob turned all of his attention to Paige while Elaine stared at him in the eyes like she wanted to bore a hole to the back of his head. Artus didn’t say anything but the former lady could easily read him anyway.

“I guess, the huge attention Paige and you got after she has beaten up those guys was nothing after all,” Felicia complained.

“I kind of expected that,” said Artus amused. “But it is still interesting to see who will do anything about it.”

“No one will dare to do anything now when the Church of Light got involved,” explained Paige. “At least, in the old, crude ways.”

“No wonder the lord bishop had easily agreed,” Elia whispered a little too loud. “You have the blessing of the Light too, only in different ways.”

Everyone now looked at him while light bulbs began to light up inside their head. Artus cleared his throat while cursing inside. Yes, he got a few blessings, well if that means a few ideas on how to use the [Light] affinity. The Light Tube was just the beginning, but Elia had to stop spoiling everything to everyone.

He pulled her aside for a short talk about not blurting out everything or anything. She only agreed when he promised to help her to get the Acolyte class. The priestess became less clingy when he promised her that, but he didn't miss the flush she tried to hide.

“Let’s get moving,” Artus said to all of them. “I can take the lead if no one else will.”

He marched forward when no one responded to him. Surprisingly, it was Felicia who came forward to the riskiest position and walked together with him. Paige walked beside Elia behind him while the other man took the rear guard position.

He noticed that the young man was distracted by priestess’s huge ass for a while, and Artus couldn’t really blame him. The chances were Elia was doing it on purpose just to mess with the man. 

Paige, on the other hand, wasn’t really happy about it. She let the poor guy know with a disappointed harumph before hooking her hand with Elia. It only made the man’s day worse than it already was. Now the guy could compare them side by side.

“You assembled the weirdest team I ever joined, Artus,” Felicia said with a smile. “But this Jacob is pretty cute though,” she added.

Something told him that Felicia had given up on him and found herself a new target. He didn’t know how to feel about that. This was a weird team, that was for sure, but the dungeon wasn’t a place to be distracted.

Artus sighed inside and refocused on the scouting task. It didn’t take long before he found some targets for Paige.

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