Releasing this chapter ahead of the Wednesday deadline so I can focus on the next chapter. Again thanks for the support!
Chapter 5.: Reckless….
Although it was a short walk back to the Healer’s Shop, it felt like a week long journey through hell. Even though we entered the shop, the demons grip didn’t lessen one bit. The piercing pain and the weight of a troublesome girl it was enough to burden my senses.
The day was not even over, and I had already experienced a long chain of events. While thinking of ‘when I can get some rest’, a man in his 40’s garbed in priest-like robe, appeared from the back of the shop counter.
~”Greetings once again Humble Sister, I understand that you require my help?”
“I apologize for coming to you at a busy time, but I’d like you to check up on these two youngster’s.” With the smile of a beautiful actress, Sister was able to attract this man’s attention away from her pain-inducing hand, still gripping my ear.
~”Alright, I’ll see what I can do for them.”
Upon release from Sister’s vice grip, blood rushed back to my ear, swelling it red. My face also became flushed, from the rush of blood.
The Healer directed me to the back of his shop, Sister Lia walked behind us, watching over us like a hawk.
“You must be tired from carrying that girl, this whole time. Please, set her down over here and have a seat there.”
After settling ourselves, the healer made several hand gestures and chanted under his breath. Moving his hand over the messy girls’ head, a faint glow could be seen on the tips of his fingers.
The messy girl faintly opened her eyes, and came to, as if awakening from a deep sleep. Adjusting to her surroundings, she glanced around the room, stopping in the direction of Sister Lia.
“Ne~l, how are you feeling, do you have any pain?” With a gentle smile and a sweet voice, Sister Lia comforted the messy girl.
“Uh-uh” Shaking her head in response, the girls eyes cast down deep in thought over something.
“Good. When we get back to the Church, we’ll be having a little chat later.” At the end of this remark, the messy girls face darkened. Resigning herself to her fate, the messy girl moved in a rigid manner and sat next to Sister Lia.
“Mr. Healer, just as I’ve explained to you before, I’d like you to do THAT.” With a stern expression, Sister Lia made a signal to the old man.
~”Alright young man, Arend is it, just relax your mind for a bit and take a deep breath.”
Trying to understand what Sister Lia meant by ‘THAT’, the old man had finished chanting and placed his hand directly on my head.
My vision immediately became white. No, it wasn’t my vision, my surroundings turned white. I was able to look at my body in this place, looking around it was white as far I could see.
There was a floor, but I couldn’t determine the ceiling or even the limits of this space. Just as I was trying to think about how I came to this space, he appeared. The old man healer-guy just happened to pop up.
~”Strange… You are like a blank slate.” The old man in priest-like robes stared back at me, heading closer in my direction.
Suddenly the surrounding’s began to change. The scenery morphed into the riverbank where I had just initially arrived, becoming my first memory into this world.
As if reliving those moments of pain and exhaustion, I watched myself through my own eyes. It was a weird experience. I did not feel, what I felt in those moments, but the clarity of memories played before me like a video.
Watching every moment I visually experienced, the blurriness of fatigue to receiving help and then my curious stares to everything around me. Everything played according to my intentions, slowing down at moments and speeding up at my boredom.
But these memories weren’t a secret, several meters away from me stood the old man, watching with a surprised expression.
“Memories have never taken on this sort of form, why is it?..”
Lost in his own ideas concerning my memories, I approached this man. Wondering what sort of ethereal existence he could be I tried to touch his figure. The moment my hand reached him, our surroundings changed.
-Old Man Healer’s PoV-
I had been busy compounding healing medicine for several buyers, but a request for my express help came.
In the back of my shop, one of my assistants at the counter barged through my room reporting to me that a Sister from the church is at the shop counter, claiming to have been a past acquaintance.
Regarding that Sister, I questioned my assistant and asked if that Sister’s name was perhaps ‘Lia’. In agreement to my inquiry, my assistant nodded her head.
“Please show her in this way, I will speak with her immediately.”
With a swift turn, my assistant left the room and returned with a woman in a Nun’s dress. The woman’s clothes complemented her figure, retaining the right amount of tightness in the chest and waist.
“It has been awhile, if it weren’t an urgent issue, you wouldn’t personally come to see me.”
~”I have been left with no other immediate choice, it is a matter which requires your expertise.”
Observing this church woman, I could not help but smile slightly. This Sister who I haven’t seen since my adventuring days has now become a splendid woman. Memories of our past history initially flooded my mind, leading me to wonder what route our relationship could have taken, if not for certain events.
As if reading my mind, Lia scowled back at me. Did I make an unsightly expression just now?
~”I really did not want to come here for you. If you still have such thoughts, I will leave, you know.”
“er… Do not worry too much, you’ll get wrinkles, furthermore…. Ah No… you can put down the stool, please do not make a mess of my shop.”
As if an imaginary demon stood behind her, Lia’s figure hid a great amount of blood-lust. Trying to settle down the tension from my remark I could only wryly smile. With impeccable timing, my assistant returned with a tray of tea.
“Miss, please forgive this lecherous fool. Enjoy the tea~”
Although my Assistant’s eyes struck arrows into my heart, she was able to calm Lia down. I could only give her my thanks for diffusing a bomb before it went off. Leaving again with a swiftness, my assistant bowed and returned to the shop counter.
“er… So what important issue, do have that I am needed?”
~”A boy whom I’ve been taking care of had gotten into an accident by the river. After saving one of the other girls in our charge, he himself got caught up in it.”
As Lia continued on with her story of events, I could read the seriousness of the matter from her body, which conveyed a firm stance.
~”It would not have been a worrisome event, but by saving the girl, a branch had struck him and he was adrift for some time within the water. I want you to check on his mental condition.”
“From your explanation, I can hardly see why it would require my abilities.”
~”Yes, my relay of the events are a second-hand story. But arriving to rescue that child is my first-hand experience. After pulling him out of the water and emptying his body which lacked air. His responses were like that of a different person.”
Lia’s emotions were beginning to seep from her rigid exterior.
~”After his consciousness returned, he thought I was his mother, but then he did not even recognize me entirely. I know it requires a lot out of you, but I want you to diagnose him with your inherent ability.”
I furrowed my brows, upon her mention of my ability, I erected a barrier within the room. Soundproofing the surrounding’s, I also locked the door entering this space.
My ability is not a magic that can be easily copied, nor is it a skill that can be learned. My Memoriae¹ is an ability to manipulate memories. It is an ability that is a closely guarded secret within my family’s household, but due to some strife, I had left the family.
Brushing away my thoughts, I returned my mind to the situation at hand. Exhaling I sighed deeply.
“If you’re here to tell me to use my Memoriae¹, is it that serious?” I stared directly into her eyes, trying to confirm for any hint of a ploy. Being betrayed before would leave a man like me to always be cautious, even long-time acquaintances.
Closing my eyes, I breathed deeply, letting out a long sigh.
“The boy you’re asking me to use my skill on. Is he the same child as before?”
Lia nodded, her eyes didn’t contain any trace of lies or schemes. They held an honest sense of duty, further convincing me that it was a serious matter.
Submitting myself to help THEIR child once again. I remembered the boy’s parents, who I shared countless adventures with. Though I had reservations against them, it was equal to the amount of gratitude, that came from my soul.
In the silence of my thoughts, Lia shifted her legs, knocking against the table which held our tea. Spilling the cup, which already was cold for quite some time. This small action roused me from my deep thoughts of the boy’s parents.
“You know, there could be repercussions that would come out of this when my ability is repetitively used. Are you still willing to bear the responsibility of the outcome?”
~”I myself, have come here, resolved to this decision. If the incident concerning Arend was a matter within my control, I would not have come here at all.”
Lia’s unwavering eyes and her serious response settled my doubts.
“Fine, if the outcome is not what you expect, you alone will shoulder this burden.”
~”We will be in your care.” Smiling slightly, Lia relaxed her posture.
Within the next few breaths, I canceled my barrier. Upon cancellation, banging resounded on the door.
“Master, the children are gone!”
And just like that, Lia’s demeanor changed. Bouncing to her feet she rushed out of the room knocking over several items.
In the process of leaving my shop, dashing through the aisles almost knocking customers flat, she broke my store’s front door. Some of the medicine I had compounded from before had cracked and stained the floor.
I could only cry in my heart since I knew, I must cover all the damages this reckless Nun had caused.
¹.Memoriae – Latin for memory.