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Chapter 12 – Returning home from the dungeon
“I was surprised to find Lucia-sama here! Are you okay?”
“I’m sorry, Lusha-sama. Thanks to Sakurai-sama, I’m safe now.”
“But… you look a bit pale, don’t you? Do you feel sick somewhere?”
I’m relieved to see that the owl has been successfully defeated as well. Lusha seems to be worried about the sitting Lucia-sama and is looking out for her. I’ve also been worried about Lucia-sama’s pale complexion, so if something is wrong, I want her to be honest about it.
Lucia-sama was a little confused, but she started the conversation by saying, “Actually… My pulse is a little fast, and I’m having trouble breathing. However, I thought this was due to the goblin attack’s effects, and I thought it would go away very quickly.”
“Pulse and suffocation… maybe.”
After thinking for a moment, Lusha stands up and looks around. And when her gaze stops, she sees the corpses of the goblins that Lucia-sama defeated earlier.
“What’s going on? They didn’t seem to make any unusual attacks, but… hmm?”
“This is the cause!”
“That’s the snake monster that mixed in with the goblins… oh, it’s poison!”
So even after I healed her injuries and regained her mana, she was still feeling sick, like she was suffocating. It’s frustrating that I didn’t realize that. I’ve never seen the symptoms of poisoning before, but healers should be able to recover quickly in these situations. It’s just terrible that I didn’t notice the condition.
“Lucia-san, I’ll heal you right away. [Cure].”
“Wow…! Thank you, Sakurai-sama.”
“I apologize for not recognizing it right away. For a healer, this makes me feel useless.”
“Not at all. I didn’t even know it was poison.”
Lucia-sama smiled, saying not to worry so much because people get stronger through experience. She’s as kind as a saint. With that, the matter was settled―then Ruri and Ishmer had come back with the teleport device.
When Ruri looked at Lucia-sama, she blinked her eyes and tilted her head.
“Sorry to keep you two waiting, but why is Lucia-sama here?”
“I’m sorry, Takanashi-sama. I was worried that my brother might cause you all some trouble, so I had to sneak up and follow from behind.”
“So that’s what it is. But you shouldn’t overdo it, okay?”
Ruri seemed to be easily convinced, and it went off without a hitch. However, the problem would be the sis-con Ishmer. Ishmer, who just came out from behind Ruri, may have the most surprised look on his face today. His eyes are wide open, and his body is trembling in a panic. He can’t believe what he’s seeing.
That’s right. His precious sister has come alone in a forest full of monsters and wild animals. If I had a sister and she did the same thing to me, I’d be extremely worried.
“Lu-Lu-Lulu-Lucia! Did you come all the way out here by yourself? Are you okay? Are you hungry! Aaaah, your clothes are dirty!”
“P-please calm down, dear brother… I’m fine since Sakurai-sama has saved me.”
“I-is that so…? Good to know you’re safe, but when we get home, I’m going to preach to you. If you’re worried about me, there are things you can do and things you can’t.”
“I’m sorry, dear brother.”
Seeing Lucia-sama’s honest apology, Ishmer sighed heavily.
With that said.
“Ru… Takanashi and Ishmer-sama, aren’t you coming back too late? I thought something was wrong.”
“I wanted to talk to Miss Takanashi for a bit, so I asked you two to go back first. I’m sorry about that.”
“Is that true…?”
I looked at Ruri, and she nodded, so there didn’t seem to be any problems. Maybe he was just hitting on her. Since I was with them all the time, Ishmer wanted some time alone with Ruri… or something like that. If there’s anything else, Ruri would probably consult with me.
Ishmer then checked the darkness around us and looked at us.
“It’s already evening. Let’s hurry since we can probably get home before midnight now. It may be hard for Lucia, but as expected, I can’t let you stay in the open field, so hold on for a while.”
“Of course, dear brother.”
If it wasn’t all strong monsters, it might have been fine to camp here and return in the morning, but if there were more than a few goblins and nocturnal monsters, it would certainly be better to get back out now. I nodded and started walking again to get out of the forest.
◆ ◆ ◆
When we returned to the city, Ren was waiting for us at the gate. I guess he was done training the soldiers and came to get us.
“Thank goodness; you’re back safely.”
“Yeah, we’re back.”
When we got to Ren, who waved his hand busily, he noticed that Ishmer and Lucia-sama were there with us. He hurriedly made a smile and greeted them.
“Long time no see, Ishmer-sama and Lucia-sama.”
“Yeah, it’s been a while. I hear you’re keeping the soldiers in training today, thank you.”
“Long time no see, Watanabe-sama.”
Apparently, Ren was also acquainted with the two of them.
“It would have been nice to relax, but I have to take Lucia back to the mansion today. Let’s meet up for dinner later.”
“Yes, later then.”
Ishmer quickly arranged a carriage and took Lucia-sama first. It seems that he was very worried and wanted to take her home immediately. After a brief greeting, we sent them off.
We were now seated at the tavern’s back, where the adventurers were drinking and crowded with people. The four of us had come for a meal and a meeting. It was quite busy, and the serving girls were busy moving around the tavern.
The food brought to us was a splendid meat dish. When I took a bite of the meat on the bone, the meat’s juices filled my mouth. It’s quite tasty, and you could eat as much as you want.
“So, how is it going there? You went to collect flowers for me to negotiate with the king, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, it’s perfect. We got it right here, Chloria.”
“Is that Chloria? Certainly, it’s kind of a mysterious flower.”
I showed Ren what I took out of my bag, and he looked at it curiously.
“Sorry, I had to leave things to you,”
“Originally, you made that contract to help me. Let me at least do this.”
“Hiroki… thank you. I’m sure we can get this bracelet off now.”
Ren looked at the bracelet and narrowed his eyes at it. It wouldn’t be something that would cause damage to his body like a curse, but even this bracelet shouldn’t feel good to wear.
“Tomorrow we’ll go to the king. Ruri said she would arrange an audience with him.”
“Yeah, I’ll take care of it. Is it just the three of us going?”
When I was about to nod and said it wasn’t a problem―two people stopped me.
“I’m Hiroki’s partner now, so I will go with you!” “I’ll go alone since I made the deal on my own!” Lusha and Ren said in unison.
I looked at Ruri as Lusha and Ren desperately insisted on that, and I looked at the two again. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. I guess what I can say for now is that I absolutely reject the idea of you going alone, Ren.