Chapter 191: Rumor and Belief
It’s only been a little over a year since I met him at Ienith.
Even though only that small amount of time has passed, the atmosphere around him makes it feel like he is a completely different person.
In my memory, he had pride and dignity as a noble and despite his air of immaturity, it felt like he had an overflowing sense of justice.
Even though he became a slave because he lost in the war and was trapped in his desire for revenge on the Empire, I remember feeling that his way of thinking was still rough and naive.
And then encountering him after a long time, the air around the man in front of me was completely different from the air he had that time.
Because he had a somewhat tense air around him like it had been sharpened and honed, he gave off an aggressive impression.
Maybe his naivety was wiped off after experiencing hell once, or … well nevertheless, I have no interest in staring at a man’s face for an extended period of time so I’ll scrutinize the information he has and think of my future actions to take.
“Firstly, where did you hear the rumor that I was no longer a Healer and was punished by the God?”
“That information passed around about half a month ago. I first heard of it during a gathering of nobles and by that time, the majority of the nobles already knew about it. Just in case you’re interested, the source of the information was not specified.”
Half a month … it seems short but it is very long.
However, that information was a mere rumor.
Unless somebody attests to it, it shouldn’t be anything more than a rumor.
” … I’m not saying that you easily believe in rumors but it seemed like Wisdom-dono believed it too?”
“Yes. Actually, immediately after hearing the rumors, the Rubruk Kingdom sent letters to the Saint Schull Allied Nations and the Healer’s Guild to verify the information but there were no replies at all.”
” … And that is strange?”
Wisdom-dono nodded and explained to me the reason in sequence for believing the rumors.
“As you know, my Rubruk Kingdom has been in a prolonged war with the Empire and we have requested for the dispatch of Luciel-sama countless times.”
” … This is the first time I heard of it.”
“Well, they probably don’t want to send an S-rank Healer that only appears every few decades to a conflict zone. Well because of that, after continual refusals in various situations … this time the rumors overlapped and whispers of maybe the S-rank Healer actually doesn’t exist began.”
” … I see. It’s true that there’s no smoke without a fire. However, even with that …”
“Yeah. I’m familiar with nobles so I didn’t really believe it. However, for some reason, the Church began to rush to erase those rumors.”
Why would they do that? If they do such a thing … wait, don’t tell me it’s a conspiracy? Somebody induced it … or maybe they incited it.
” … So you believe the rumors to be true because of that cover-up?”
“Yeah. I judged that it had high credibility.”
There were no contradictions in his words.
If that’s the case, Shisho and Lionel are in danger.
I took a deep breath, switched gears and changed the topic.
“If that’s the case then I want to quickly return to the surface… before that, I would like to hear about the Empire next. You said that you were experimented upon but do you know why they were burying magic stones in the human body?”
“In my case, it was an experiment to increase magical power amount by embedding magic stones in the body. Even though they supposedly used purified magic stones, perhaps because the magic stones were not compatible, my body began to release miasma and I heard someone say that it was a failure.”
In other words, it wasn’t an experiment to create demons? Or maybe there was a change in the experiments?
“When you were captured by the Empire, did you hear anything about experiments to take in the power of the demon race or magic tools that can transform humans to demons.”
“No. It’s true that there were talks about the demon race but the aim was for the annihilation of the demon race. I recall such conversations. Naturally, I did not see any demons either.”
“Annihilation? They weren’t in collaboration with the demon race?”
“That’s not the case. If demons appeared, my country would have a hard time maintaining the equilibrium and it won’t be strange if my country got destroyed.”
He laughed and said in a self-demeaning way but those words were enough to confuse me.
What’s going on? I understand that he can’t be lying since he just made a pledge but is the information he holds actually true?
Certainly, I don’t hold a good image of the Empire.
There’s the incident involving Lionel and the others, they tried to secretly crush Ienith, they launched wars and held onto peoples’ weakness to have a supply of slaves so they don’t give a good impression.
However, thinking about it, Lionel and the others are Empire citizens too.
Thinking about it that way, the Empire without their publicly known General is actually … brittle?
There, I suddenly felt something connect.
And I recalled hearing talks of Lionel still in the Empire.
“Er, have you met the Sen’Oni General?”
” … I have. He is the perpetrator who buried the magic stone in my body.”
It seems like the imposter is still around, so that’s why Lionel’s notoriety is terrible.
” … By the way, do you recall the lame slave at Ienith?”
He seemed like he was thinking for a while before he quickly nodded.
“I remember if it’s that old man. He was empathetic and spoke to me.”
Old man … it’s true that Lionel was an old man when I met him.
While dispelling the memories that surfaced, I imagined Wisdom-dono’s look when he sees the now rejuvenated Lionel as I decided to tell him the truth.
“He is Lionel, that renowned Sen’Oni General. Now he is my retinue and is in Ienith so the one in the Empire is an imposter.”
“That’s impossible! I’m certain that he was called General Lionel and I should have seen his face once before on the battlefield …”
Wisdom-dono lost his composure but I had a request for Orford-san who was listening to us.
“Orford-san, I’m sorry for the sudden request but could you transform into me?”
” … Umu. Very well.”
Orford-san used mixed magic, Transformation Magic to transform into me.
“Is this alright?”
Rather than looking similar, it’s totally a carbon copy of myself.
“Thank you … It’s a strange feeling to see another one of myself. Is this a magic that anybody can use?”
“It’s possible if it is a high order Magician who is capable of mixing the opposite attributes of Water and Fire. However, mixed magic constantly consumed magical power during use so it’s impossible to maintain for long durations?”
“Incidentally, can it be applied to another person?”
“It’s possible … but, it’s impossible without considerable skill and technique.”
“I see. So Wisdom-dono, what do you think?”
” … Unbelievable. But, if it’s true … that time, my face was immediately covered with an iron mask.”
It seems like he has an idea.
Nevertheless, if they are so careful in their preparation, then isn’t there also the possibility that they are monitoring Lionel? However, it’s unlikely that Shisho or Lionel would not notice it.
Was the person who circulated the rumors that I can’t use Holy Attribute Magic perhaps an imposter among my companions?
To Wisdom-dono who was greatly perplexed, I explained from my point of view what kind of person the real Lionel is.
“During battles, Lionel fights to protect his companions. That’s why he is always fighting in the forefront and I feel that he is a true warrior who dislikes deception and strategy.”
” … A personage like that is the real one? Then who exactly is that man?”
“He would be an imposter.”
” …… Shit.”
Even if his brain accepts it, because he actually experienced it, he would definitely vent his hatred if he met Lionel.
While thinking about his complication feelings, seeing how I have been acting on the premise that the Empire is involved with the demon race, I decided to first find out more about the Empire.
Since I’ve asked all that I wanted to ask, next would be to establish a cooperative relationship.
“Then will Wisdom-dono be staying in Nelldal?”
“Ah. That was the plan but my aim for coming here was to find a means to treat my body so …”
“If so then?”
“Yes. I’ve achieved my goal so I no longer have any reason to stay here.”
“You’re glad that you are cured right?”
“Of course. I feel nothing but gratitude towards Luciel-sama. If you ever need my insignificant help for anything in the future, I will do my best to cooperate.”
The suffering expression he had until just now was gone and now a smile has returned to his face.
“Thank you. If possible, please spread the word in the Rubruk Kingdom that I have become a Sage.”
“Okay. I’ll tell them that the rumors were meant to ensnare Luciel-sama and they would immediately be convinced once they see my body.”
He said and laughed once again.
After that, I once again told Orford-san of my intent to immediately return to the Church and he guided us to the same room with the magic circle where we first arrived in Nelldal.
“Well then Luciel-dono, I’ll be transferring the three of you to the Church?”
“I’m sorry to trouble you.”
“Umu. Leave it to me. And, that … would you be giving me that~?”
I took out a bottle of honey and took out another bottle as well.
“You’re giving me two?”
“One of it is Object X. If a monster attacks, try to make it drink that. If you can make it drink it, even a Red Dragon can be defeated.”
” … I’ll take note of it.”
After that, I exchanged magical communication bead magical power with Orford-san and promised to one day meet Wisdom-dono again.
“Well then, I’ll be sending you three, Luciel-dono. Have a cup of honey mead with me the next time you come.”
“Sure. I’ll be in your care.”
“Nadia-kun, Lydia-kun. If you two ever feel like studying magic, I welcome you to come visit again.”
“Okay. If we have a chance to come here again, please show us around the streets of Nelldal.”
“I’ll try my best to be able to use both regular magic and Spirit Magic.”
Listening to their replies, he gave the same good-natured old man smile that he showed us when we first came to Nelldal.
“See you again, Wisdom-dono.”
“I will make sure to spread the message that you’ve attained the Sage job.”
When Orford-san channeled magical power into the magic circle, the magic circle glowed and the next instant, we were swallowed by the light.
Thus, that marked the end of the seemingly long but short three months in Nelldal.
Thank you for reading.