Book 11: Home is away
Chapter 192: Hostility
Using the magic circle that we arrived at Nelldal on, we were transferred to the magic circle beside Pope-sama’s room in the Church Headquarters … or that was supposed to be the case.
However, when I opened my eyes after waiting for the light to fade away, for some reason, we were not in the room with the magic circle but in some kind of an arena-like location.
Why was it that I could recognize that it was a training ground despite it being at night? That’s because a large number of knights holding cast-iron torches came out to welcome us.
“… Isn’t this the large training ground? … But is it because of the rumors that the atmosphere is so bad? Or … ”
Although the knights did not unsheathe their swords, they came fully armed to welcome us.
And although faint, I noticed flashes of hostility.
“What do we do?”
“With such numbers, it looks like escaping would be difficult if we don’t attack …”
” … It looks like there isn’t a need for that.”
The two of them seemed to also notice the strange atmosphere and they were prepared for battle according to my instructions.
At that point in time, a group of knights stepped forward with a single woman in front.
“Good evening, Lumina-san and everyone from the Valkyrie Paladin Corps. I see that you all have not departed for the Principality of Blange.”
“Good evening, Luciel-kun. We have been given an even more important mission. As such, we could not immediately take action.”
While Lumina-san was conversing with me, I could feel that the other girls were at a loss.
Maybe they were thinking about how I lost my ability to use Holy Attribute Magic.
Well, not feeling the discernible hostility from them is relieving.
“I wonder what is with this exaggerated welcome?”
“Luciel-kun probably doesn’t know as you’ve just returned from Nelldal but currently there are rumors flying about in the streets regarding Luciel-kun.”
“I see. And this line-up is the encircling net meant to capture me?”
I intended to speak calmly but because I never imagined this situation would occur, I wanted to go on a rampage.
Hearing my conversation with Lumina-san, Nadia and Lydia were radiating anger from the overwhelming shock.
“Yeah. There won’t be any problems as long as the doubt is cleared but … do you understand the current situation?”
“Well, somewhat. It’s the rumor about how I was punished by the Gods, lost my Healer job and can no longer use Holy Attribute Magic right?”
When I said that, the hostility from our surroundings intensified but I totally could not understand why we had to suffer such poor treatment.
Lumina-san looked like it was very difficult for her but she probably volunteered to take on this role.
From just now, there was only one person looking at me with worried eyes.
If Lumina-san wasn’t there, I would have blown away this unreasonable situation with my full power.
“Yes, for the crime of tarnishing the reputation of this Healer’s Headquarters, of the Saint Schull Church … there has been a command sent out to restrain you.”
Lumina-san announced that with her eyes shut.
It was a voice without any intonation that indicated Lumina’s feelings.
If this was a company, this would be the notice from the Human Resources Department for restructuring so I thought Granhart-san would appear here but … such thought went through my mind as I spoke to Lumina-san.
“I see. However, I’m surprised Pope-sama would allow the command to restrain me to pass given that she knows about my circumstance.”
“It’s not a command from Pope-sama, there is an Executives Department in the church and this time, the command came from there.”
If the church’s leader doesn’t know about the arrest of the S-rank Healer … then Pope-sama is nothing more than a figurehead.
There might already have been such a department in the background when she came into power a hundred years ago.
Nevertheless, now that it has come to this point, I no longer care for what reason this Executive Department is for.
Getting raised on a pedestal by others just to be instantaneously discarded when the wind changes direction … for the sake of my well-being in the future here, I felt that it was best to crush them here.
Did Pope-sama not put any pressure on them?
“I see. Rather than to protect me, they took a stance to eliminate me. Furthermore, despite knowing that I’ve been on a leave of absence to Nelldal … it looks like even an S-rank Healer can be subjected to arrest just by making up false charges.”
Looking at my reaction, Lumina-san appealed to me.
” … If it’s false charges, could you prove it here?”
“Proof? I don’t mind. Are there any wounded people?”
If Shisho and Lionel and the others were taken out then, I had confidence that I would go berserk.
Lumina-san replied as I prayed for that worst case future to not come true.
” … I can trust you right?”
For some reason, Lumina-san asked to make sure with a meek expression.
“Yeah. I’m bad at lying.”
Perhaps she was satisfied with my answer, Lumina-san smiled.
However, that smile felt like she made a decision and a bad feeling rapidly rose within me but it happened the next instant.
Lumina-san drew her sword and then there was fresh blood.
What Lumina-san cut was, of all things, her own left arm.
My head was blank from panic and before I knew it, I was rushing over to Lumina-san and casting Extra Heal.
That was probably a reflex action.
After the magic chant ended, a 『Paan』 sound resonated through the surroundings.
Lumina-san believed that I could use Holy Attribute Magic but she probably also resolved herself to chop off her arm.
However, feeling her arm regenerate when the light stopped exceeded her expectations as Lumina-san and the surrounding knights were astonished. I don’t know if it was because I really could use Holy Attribute Magic or that it was from the use of a Healing Magic from the legends but they were probably ones who believed the rumors.
I was greatly shocked to see that there were people who I trained with mixed within them.
However, before that, I had to deal with the slap I dealt to Lumina-san’s cheek from the previous momentum.
“Are you a fool! What if it leaves a scar.”
I should have been calm but I was scolding her for some reason.
Lumina-san abruptly changed from her blank look to a mischievous smile.
“Sorry. But this was the quickest method to convince the knights who wanted to arrest Luciel-kun. Although I did not expect your healing skill to rise further.”
I understood Lumina’s feelings … then I should also announce my true feelings to the knights here.
“I don’t care! I don’t need trust and faith that can crumble from a mere rumor nor do I want it!! I will pursue who is responsible for proudly giving out the command to arrest me and if that doesn’t work, I’ll quit the Healer’s Guild and work as an Adventurer. You guys can take responsibility for that.”
I announced before walking towards the exit.
“Lumina-san, please don’t push yourself too hard.”
” … Luciel-kun.”
I whispered in a voice that only Lumina-san can hear when I walked past her.
I clearly understood that her actions were done to save me but although I’m happy, doing so by cutting her arm off ruins the mood.
The surrounding knights were all silent and they opened a path but at the end, Catherine-san drew her sword and blocked the path.
“Catherine-san, could you please step aside?”
“As there has been a command, I cannot do so.”
Why won’t she stop? Even though she knows full well that I will be innocent even if I am arrested.
Or did she received a new message from Pope-sama? But I can’t understand her reason to unsheathe her sword.
” … Catherine-san, you are aware of everything right?”
“Yes. That’s why I will be arresting you. Based on your ability to use Holy Attribute Magic, I cannot let you quit being a Healer.”
Does she only want to fight, or is there a reason behind it? I’ve never been able to read her but why is it that even as she is pointing her sword at me, I still can’t sense any hostility?
Pope-sama has strong trust in her and I also trust her alongside Pope-sama, Lumina-san and everyone from Ienith.
Just nice I was feeling irritated and if she intends to stand in my way, I decided to face her with all my ability and provoked her.
” … Do you think someone who is afraid of the Executive Department can win against someone like me?”
“Ara? Are you taking me as a fool?”
I noticed a vein appear on her forehead but I continued without minding it.
” … It’s troublesome so I won’t be treating you.”
“Who do you think you’re talking to? It seems like some roasting is required. Come at me from wherever you wish.”
“It’ll be over in an instant if you don’t take this seriously?”
“If you can walk the talk.”
The instant Catherine-san said that, I took out my Illusionary Sword and raised my magical power in one go.
I made a faint sigh when I recalled the last time I fought against someone was that time against Shisho and the others.
“Holy Dragon, protect this body. Thunder Dragon, leave everything behind.”
The next instant, I felt the surrounding sounds disappear.
Catherine-san would certainly be strong as a Knight.
However, she is not as tough as Lionel nor does she have overwhelming attack power. She is slower than Shisho and her technique is not as versatile as his.
Not to mention she can’t compare to the pressure from the Twin Dragons and she doesn’t have magic like Orford-san.
I no longer felt terrified after I understood that.
Catherine-san was shocked when she saw me emit light but she was full of openings as if she could not follow my speed.
That’s why I intentionally hit the sword she was holding onto with my Illusionary Sword to knock it out of her hands but shockingly, the instant my Illusionary Sword contacted Catherine-san’s sword, it sliced through her sword without any resistance whatsoever.
If it’s just like this, she might call for a rematch so this time, I kicked towards her shield with all my might.
Catherine-san was blown away with an astonished expression pasted on her face.
While thinking that she might find the sudden end disappointing, I cast Middle Heal from afar and my senses returned when I released the Dragon Magic Power.
However, what awaited me was a veil of silence different from the previous one.
It was an atmosphere where even the sound of a person breathing in could be heard.
Probably nobody within the Knight Squad imagined that Catherine-san would lose. Everyone had stunned expressions on their faces as they stood there.
Nadia and Lydia were astonished too but they quickly noticed my gaze and nodded to me.
I didn’t think that the fight would be settled so quickly but as expected, the benefits from leveling up and obtaining the Dragon Power is tremendous.
Nevertheless, I’d prefer if they show the spirit of taking a step forward in anger for defeating their leader.
If there was at least a slight indication of that there might be hope for the Knight Corp but is this Knight Corp really still salvageable?
Or is it because my rank is above theirs?
They’ll probably have to call Lionel and Shisho over if they want to salvage this Knight Corp.
While having such thoughts, I glanced across the Knight Corp and spoke.
“I worked myself to death to train for this. So? I’d like to hear if there are anybody else with complaints. However, that is only if you hold the resolve to drink the undiluted Object X, God’s Grief made by the Sage.”
I ended up speaking with a polite tone but I openly provoked them so I thought a couple of them would step forward but there was no indication of anybody making a move.
On the contrary, not one of the knights met my gaze when I looked at them.
No, only Lumina was still looking at me with a worried expression but she did not speak out.
“Since it looks like there’s no one, I have to report my return to Pope-sama so please excuse me.”
I announced before leaving the training ground.
After the door closed behind us, Nadia and Lydia came over to ask.
“Luciel-sama, why did you take that attitude just now?”
“I’m also wondering about that. You would probably end up getting hated for doing so.”
“It can’t be helped if I’m hated for this. There will be people who worry about me and encourage me even if I can’t use magic. It’s fine to live with just those people.”
I laughed while feeling slightly lonely as I commented on my own behavior.
When I gave that reply, the two of them did not pursue the topic any further and instead, asked about the fight just now.
“Luciel-sama, how was that attack possible?”
“I totally could not catch it.”
Thus like that, until the time we reached Pope-sama’s room, Nadia and Lydia repeatedly asked me questions about my new power.
Thank you for reading.