Chapter 7 – Nostalgia
Since Beline had left, Grace poured us some black tea in her stead.
“Thank you very much. Umm…”
“I am called Grace.”
“It’s a pleasure, Grace-san.”
With that, the two exchanged smiles.
After drinking the black tea and letting out a sigh, Ashley, who was seated across from me, muttered with a relieved look.
“I am slightly relieved. For you to forgive me…”
As expected, she was probably worried about my connection to the Count’s house. Even though I said I was an illegitimate child, she still honored it.
Even if that wasn’t the case, Ashley wasn’t certain about being able to deal with Oslo, and this lead to her suffering enough stress to cause her stomach to hurt. Even if I tried to provide some sympathy for Ashley, since Kennel would probably be furious towards Oslo, I doubted that the treatment Oslo would receive would be anything sweet.
“You shouldn’t really worry about me.”
“Theodore-sama…even though you appear to be around the same age as me…you behave more like an adult and are rather independent.”
“Well, that depends on the circumstances.”
Although I was given the same education as my brothers by dad…it had born fruit, against my own will, according to Kagehisa’s memory and my relations to Katherine’s group. My mixed feelings prevented me from saying anything to Ashley, who was doing her best as a Lord.
“By the way, your body doesn’t seem to be in a very good condition?”
If you looked at the state that Ashley was in again, you could see that her breathing was becoming quite rough. Since sweat seemed to be slightly coming out of her forehead, her body was definitely weak.
“It’s fine as long as it’s this much. I’ve gotten used to it afterall.”
So what? I also felt that my mom always said these types of things. Even just speaking with Ashley would often strain her body, causing a rebound later. Speaking about various things, rather than it being irritating, it was me being impatient.
It was something about her helpless appearance from earlier that reminded me of the time mother had been alive. It was unpleasant to remember it.
Ashley’s voice seemed to have doubt in it.
…Anyways, since I would be leaving the city shortly, this much was probably fine.
There was also Beline’s lecture after this, and Kennel’s impression would certainly worsen if Ashley was genuinely taken ill by this. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure when I would be able to do it if it was put off until later.
I had probably shown Ashley a glum look. I took both of her hands in mine.
“It’s just as it is. Please enjoy it.”
I used a skill that was derived from my Mana Circulation, Circulation Refinement (TN: 循環錬気). A Battlemage’s Mana Circulation was said to be trained by circulating the Mana inside your body, unifying it.
This would improve the quality of one’s Mana, it’s output, and the body’s abilities. Applying this on another person’s body was called Circulation Refinement.
It was said to quicken the recovery of one’s abnormal state, and if they were touched with the effects of it in the game, it would heal their life force.
As for the reason, it mutually introduced both of their Mana and, using the disposition of the Circulation, it adjusted the flow of their feelings.
Since continuous contact was necessary, it was unsuitable during battle, but in BFO it was allowed to be used as a simple means of healing teammates.
As I held her hands, I activated my Circulation. My Mana flowed into the girl’s body and circulated, as if a river’s flow had been drawn into her, and, at the same time, her Mana also flowed through, adjusting the abnormalities of her veins until they were almost normal.
It was close to a symptomatic treatment, so it meant that it wouldn’t remove the source of the problem, but it would replenish one’s stamina and naturally heighten one’s Resistance and Healing Power. It might be perfect for Ashley.
As the flow was adjusted, the total amount of Mana that had been circulating from the start of the treatment began splitting inside of the girl, as if it was increased. The unified Mana would be separated if the circulation was released, and the girl’s Life Energy would probably be converted
…Something like this, I wonder?
After moderately treating her, I released her hands and saw that Ashley’s eyes were spinning. The girl who had been close to being pale until some time ago now had her cheeks tinged red. It seemed that the complexion of her lips were also getting better.
“How is it?”
“My body became lighter, almost as if it was a lie. Was that magic just now?”
“Strictly speaking, it isn’t magic, but rather a kind of magic operation. As for Ashley-sama, you might have some talent for magic.”
“Talent for magic? Me?”
“It appears that the composition of Mana inside your body is good. If you have the chance, how about learning magic that adjusts the condition of your body?”
One’s body was worth investing in, afterall. The girl’s health should be related to the situation of her domain. Kennel was probably overprotective of her, so she had developed a weak constitution.
Just as Beline, who had returned from collecting data, began her lecture, I received the money and letter from her and withdrew to my room.
Although I was told ‘How about listening together?’, I took precautions against it.
Just as the door opened behind me, Grace called my name.
“Were you reminded of Lisa-sama?”
It seemed that Grace also thought about it when she saw Ashley.
Both of us understood the things we were thinking about and the things we would want to say to one another.
Without saying anything else, I passed through the corridor and returned to the Guild counter.
As for later, only Forest Bird was waiting here. It was fine even if they wasted their time looking at appropriate request forms, and it might have been good to grab a light meal at the bar across the street.
It certainly wouldn’t be boring to wait at the Guild instead of at the stable.
Lucian, who had said “To have Theo-kun wait at the stable is unbelievable!”, had decided to wait here. She was a rather strange child.
Although it appeared that I was being respected as a noble, the way she called my name was somehow relaxed. Well, I gave her permission to call me that way, and it wasn’t bad for her to be chatty, right?
I looked at the poster on the wall and compared it to the prices in BFO. It was fairly interesting. It was completely for fun, since I wasn’t an Adventurer, but it wasn’t really crowded so I didn’t really care.
After I had wasted some time, an angry voice resounded from the Guild’s counter.
“It’s fine already, so bring me to her! It’s extremely rude to keep me in such a painful place!”
When I looked back, the Guild employees and a good-looking white-haired man were in the middle of having a dispute at the entrance.
“So, it’s in the middle of becoming a big story.”
“I won’t talk to you guys! Call a woman out, like Beline!”
…I somehow understood who it was.
The situation was probably that a servant of Ashley’s house had come running with all his might and on a fast horse. I could see the figure of a horse wearing a saddle outside of the door that had flown wide open.
If a solitary rider had galloped their way back, they might have arrived fairly quickly. He’s quite energetic at this age. If you looked closely, surely parts of his hair and clothes would be in disorder.
…Hmm. In any case, he had taken a ship. Even though he had this setting, I couldn’t put it into words.
“Excuse me, is Kennel-dono here?”
“Aah!? What is it!? The important thing just now…”
After Kennel quickly moved his gaze onto me and inspected me, he frowned, as if he had doubts.
“I’m called Theodore Gartner. The one of interest from today’s matter.”
After listening to my name, Kennel’s expression stiffened. It seemed that the exposure was a success. He probably had no choice but to be cautious. First off, I had to make him listen to me.
“Will you talk with me? It’s something important about Ashley-sama.”
I said that as I pointed to a table in the bar.
“…And that’s what I mean.”
“Is that so? That stupid Oslo…Jeez…so deplorable…man.”
After explaining the day’s events and Ashley’s situation, Kennel sighed and shook his head.
“I’ll ask you one more time. Will you place your trust in this woman called Beline?”
“If it’s something work-related. In my case, I don’t know. At least, she isn’t a person who would resort to hasty means. That’s why, without trusting her words, as if she would listen, I told her to keep a distance. Since Ashley-sama is intelligent, I think she would have understood it.
“…Well, that is natural, of course.”
Due to the major premise that he would immediately head out if we finished talking, he listened as I talked about the present situation. Then I repeatedly explained that there was no danger to Ashley’s body. Since he had kept his composure from the beginning, I began to talk like that.
“Have you had disputes with Adventurers in the past?”
Kennel didn’t answer. His eyes became distant for a moment, and he just furrowed his eyebrows. He must use Adventurers for him to grasp it. As long as they were efficient, he understood that he needed to compromise here. He had to shift his attention here, even if he was enraged and didn’t agree.
“Even if you reorganize the guards, the demons won’t wait for us. Right now, the morale of those guards is at the lowest point, and the reason for that negligence is big. Those who are injured and aren’t skillful will die. Whatever the case may be, I think that the hands of the Adventurers are necessary.”
If that happened, various problems would arise, like money that would be paid to nobles and the people’s complaints.
“After talking with Theodore-dono, I feel as if I’m somehow talking with an adult.”
Kennel laughed sarcastically as he narrowed his eyes.
“Pardon me for that. I was also told by my dad that I am good at talking.”
“Fumu…I’m envious of the Count’s house. You are quite the prodigy.”
Kennel sank into his chair as if he were tired and dropped his shoulders. The fine sight of authority from earlier cooled down and revealed the appearance of an old gentleman that was fit for his age.
“As for me, I have no rights to his succession. My relationship with my stepmother is also bad. Though, with Ashley-sama, my future appears to be promising.”
“I…had only thought that it would be good if she had been fairly happy as the child of a noble. If only Elliot-sama had returned uninjured at that time…I had thought that several times.”
“Who is Elliot-sama?”
“He was the original heir. Five years ago, when the previous head and his wife disappeared as they were returning from their study abroad…it turned out that they had been caught up in an accident on the ship they were taking.”
Five years ago…huh. Really, Ashley makes me think about various things.