“I can walk.. reeally..” the girl who Nine saved, her name was Srhro.
“Don’t force yourself.. hey. There is. What do you think?” Nine swipe a panel over to me.
“Hm.. I think it could work? Um.. Srhro, do you know how long she’s been in there.. sorry for being insensitive.”
“Um.. I-I don’t know how long.. she was already before me.. there. She needs to be treat.. treated now.. or soon.. she says she wants to die.”
“Srhro, drink this,” Nine pulled out the vial of contraceptive.
Srhro chugged the whole thing down in one go.. and started coughing.
Assuming the ovum had been fertilized, the chances of it having already implanted by now should be low. It takes a while for the egg to travel down the fallopian tube right? That’s just a guess. Anyways, the contraceptive works by preventing the attachment of a fertilized egg on the placenta– based on the description.
So in a way.. I don’t know how long the girl I’m holding– Arine had been in that goblin hell.
“Noel,” Nine passed me the other vial.
“My hands are full.”
“It’s the truth.”
Nine pried open Arine’s mouth and poured it down her throat. Oh yeah. She doesn’t look crazy emaciated so it’s fine to assume that she hasn’t been in there for more than a few days?
“Do you need water?”
“H-Huh.. water.. yes.. then please.. some water..” Srhro was still stuttering with her words.. are you sure you can walk?
Nine pulled out her water bottle from the inventory and passed it to her. She made a mess of it.
Next, Nine poured some into Arine’s mouth.
Srhro rearranged her clothes to make herself better presentable.
“There’s still a ways to go. Are you sure you don’t want me to help?” Nine asked.
“I’m fine.. thank you for saving me.. and saving her too.. I- I thought I would rather die..”
“You did well,” Nine said.
“Thank you.. really.. was it my party?”
“Party? Um, there was a quest posted in the guild so..”
The sounds of footsteps in the quiet forest.. the occasional rustling of leaves in the distance..
“I-I was a mage.. E-rank adventurer.. and my party together with me went to fight goblins and.. I was reckless and joined them to take on the goblins too close to the nest and.. they used me as bait and ran.. “
The realities of adventure I would never come to experience.
This world I created..
Do I really have the right or permission to say I’m not responsible for all this?
“Srhro. I have a question.”
“Would you rather have died or lived? If you knew this was going to happen if you continued being an adventurer?”
Her eyes swam as her blinking rate increased.
“I need money.. adventuring is a difficult job.. and life, my life is in danger. This is expected.. I want to live. Of course that’s what I want..”
Nine gave me a glance but said nothing.
We continued walking.
‘How was it?’ Liliath texted.
‘We made it safe and sound.’
‘Liliath is jealous,’ heh.. she’s referring to herself in third person, how cute.
‘Fine. I’ll carry you like this later in the evening. Don’t regret it.’
‘Do it for Rina instead if that is possible?’
Whenever I see Liliath trying to balance out this weird harem of her’s, I get this sense of dissonance. What do you think? Don’t you think it’s funky how Liliath is taking charge of the relationship?
“Noel. Incoming..” Nine pulled out her sword. “Srhro, stand back..”
“Huh?” Incoming what?
Result. Rustle.. Rumble..
I checked my map.
This bullshit again.. eh? Hold up.
“What? We’re going to die at this rate.”
“No. It’s a demon so.. and..” she looked into my eyes.
“Just an experiment.”
I grew my horns.
“Eh?” Srhro let out a befuddled voice.
And on the map, the red dot became green all of a sudden.. somehow by instinct I knew this would happen. Also.. that feeling of seeing it die.. I didn't want it to happen again for some reason.
“What’s with this?? So you can communicate with them?”
“I don’t know. Maybe? But if possible I want them to just go away.”
“Y-You.. are you a demon?”
“Oh. Yes. It’s cosplay,” Nine took out a hairband with horns inbuilt into it and placed it on her head. “Look, now I’m a demon too.”
Hehe.. nice one.
“Yup. It’s cosplay,” I said. You could consider my horns that right?
“HA?! WHAT.. WHAT..”
“Calm down.. “
A cloud of snow blew into the air. I shut my eyes.. and then opened it.
I saw a tree bark– It was touching my nose.
I took a few steps back.
“Okay..” I’m safe.
“God damn that scared the shit out of me!” Nine yelled.
“At least it worked right?”
“But I felt it. My instincts were telling me that it’s alright.. right?” I asked the Trent this question for some fucking reason. Huh. It actually doesn’t look crazy ugly or disgusting. It just looks like a regular trent.
Trent. Wow heck, this is the first time I’m getting to see one properly. The last time, Moirae killed it before it could register in my mind. The way the tree barks fold to create a face on the wood.. it’s cool.
I bent it’s trunk and looked down at Arine who was in my arms. Some leaves fell off and got stuck on her hair.
“No. Bad tree. This ain’t food. You want food, go eat those goblins back at the village,” I said.
It seemed to nod– and went scurrying past me. My hair became disheveled by the gust created.
“Hot damn.. what the fuck,” Did I just– “Did I just get a subordinate?” The Trent now permanently green on the system map.
“Looks like there’s no need to clean up the goblin village aymore.. actually, that’s the last Infected Trent in the forest you know?” Nine said.
“Oh, is it? That’s pitiful actually..”
“We should use it to help us hunt.”
I just said it was pitiful and here you are telling me to exploit it.. huh? I mean, that’s being efficient isn't it? Rather than have it waste it’s time roaring around, we can have it generate some income for us.. the hell am I thinking? Opening a black company for innocent demons?
Oh. Crap. We forgot the most important existence here..
Srhro was on her knees, her legs apparently gave way.
“In normal cases, with this sort of situation, the first place we have to go is the church and not the guild right?” I asked Srhro.
“This situation, guild? I’m not sure..”
“Maybe we should just drop by the church and see what we could do about her,” Nine, referring to Arine.
The quest was just posted today so.. rather, was there a point in feeling this guilt? No right?
“Ugh..” Srhro held her stomach.
“Someone’s hungry,” Nine laughed.
“Nine, we still have our bread in the inventory right?”
“On it.. but she needs to wash her hands.. oh,” Nine realized something, “My bad. Well, I think I can feed you instead,” Nine took out a wheat bread with meat sandwiched in between and held it out to Srhro.
It’s unfortunate that using healing magic is much more complicated than just spray and pray. There’s a need to adjust the healing depending on the wound so the one in the magic column wasn’t usable since it’s fixed. Srhro’s hands were.. huh, is she not in pain or is she enduring it?
Srhro accepted it after hesitating a few times. And this led to a decrease in pace.
“Nine, I think I’ll go on first,”
“Okay then. See you at the church.”
I calibrated my stats and advanced.
Now I feel bad for that upstart goblin village. It’s been unrooted by the Trent entirely– get it? Uprooted? Nevermind–