I Work As A Healer In Another World’s Labyrinth City - Chapter 46
In the end, unable to buy a magic tool in order to improve Eris' healing magic ability, it was time for me to return.
「Hahhh, why'd it have to be 10 million Zeni...」
I tried visiting the magic tool shop one more time after that, but among the magic tools that could raise maximum MP, that one was the cheapest. Even checking out other nearby stores, it was much the same story.
Seems like that sort of item is considerably pricey. It's probably the type of magic tool that can't be artificially reproduced. There's no way to obtain it other than picking it up by chance from the labyrinth. The supply and demand are fatally out of balance.
...I kinda feel like I've exhausted all the means at my disposal.
「Honestly, what do I dooo.」
Besides, there's also the matter of Ruruka. It's a secondary problem compared to the fact that Eris might end up going to train in the royal capital, but I should still do something about this one as well. Yeah, the way we parted was too awkward. I want to patch things up somehow.
Well, even if I tell myself to follow up, I still don't know what I should do about it. If it's Yuel I can generally manage it by petting her head, but I doubt that'll work in Ruruka's case.
Or perhaps I should say, no matter how much I think about it, I can't figure out why Ruruka was acting like that in the first place. From the course of events, it seems natural to conclude that she's irritated by the existence of Eris, but honestly speaking I feel like she doesn't have any reason to think that highly of me. Touching her ass, slipping off her shorts... I can think of several reasons just from today alone for her to dislike me.
But still, seeing Ruruka's behavior in front of that inn, there's no way that was really ’’I just wanted to change my clothes’’.
In other words, even deducting today's minus points from her goodwill, Ruruka must've been quite fond of me already. But I can't fathom why.
「...Is it because I'm so handsome?」
If that's the case, everything makes sense. And Yuel said I was, too. Also my grandma used to tell me the same thing when I was a kid.
As I'm reflecting while I walk,
「Marbled royal capital beef... say, Sera, why don't we have some?」
「Fran, your allowance has been completely cut off since then, and in addition you were told to refrain from entering the labyrinth as well, or have you forgotten? You mustn't waste money.」
「B-But... I know, let's split one!」
「...Even if you don't eat it here, if you buttered up Lord-sama for some marbled royal capital beef I'm sure he would buy you an entire cow.」
「I hate doing that. And that would be pointless anyway. I'm hungry now.」
I spot a natural blonde twin-drills and a blue-haired girl, about to get a meal at a food cart. It's Fran and Sera. I guess 'since then' is probably referring to what happened after the lord's sponsored dinner party. It seems as though the blue-haired girl, Sera, is about to buy a skewer of marbled royal capital beef.
...Well, I only noticed them, it's not like our eyes met. I'm not good with Fran. If I try to strike up a conversation and inadvertently se*ually harass her, she's liable to fire off attack magic at me.
Plus she's flat.
I consider asking them for Ruruka's whereabouts, but I usually run into Ruruka pretty often, so our spheres of activity probably overlap. Even if I don't ask them, I should be able to meet her again before too long.
I'll ignore them... but as I'm about to take my leave,
「Why hello there. Are you alone today?」
With a cheerful smile, Sera calls out. Handing the skewer she just bought over to Fran, she moves to stand in my way. It seems I've been spotted.
I wonder what she wants from me? They aren't as big as Eris', but Sera is well-endowed. I've got nothing against talking per se, it's just that the drills-hothead over there is scary.
「How fortunate. The two of us were about to go sightseeing in town. If you don't mind, how would you like to share a meal with us?」
「H-Hold on, Sera! I-I'm against it!」
But, Fran immediately barges in with a rough voice. And begins to quarrel with Sera in said rough tone.
「Come now, Fran, isn't this the perfect opportunity?」
「The perfect opportunity... wait. Sera, are you seriously talking about that!?」
「Of course I'm serious. Fran, do you mean to say that there's no need to return a favor you've received? Or else do you mean that in return for saving your life, Lord-sama paid him some money and therefore it's fine to say ’’that's the end of that’’?」
「Just because the other party is a man, this is not something you can just gloss over. As a daughter of the Meirhartz family, you cannot run away from it.」
For a moment I wonder what they're talking about, but somehow or other I have an idea. Looks like Sera wants to make Fran thank me. As for why, it's probably over the matter of me saving her from that Krankheit Turtle's charge.
I received a reward from the lord, but Sera appears to be dissatisfied with that alone. Although something tells me she's just using it as an excuse to work on Fran's misandry.
「...Fine, I understand.」
And, Fran reluctantly gives in to Sera's persuasion. The phrase ’’as a daughter of the Meirhartz family’’ seems to have been the clincher.
When Fran nods, Sera turns her attention to me next.
「There you have it, Shiki-san. If there's anything at all you'd like Fran to do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.」
「「A-Anything at all!?」」
My surprised outcry overlaps with Fran's. She did just say anything, right?
「W-What are you thinking, Sera! I'm a daughter of Meirhartz, aren't I!? Are you telling me to offer up my virginity to this nobody of a man!?」
I haven't said a single word yet about anything like taking her virginity. In Fran's mind, am I some beast with nothing but se*ual desire in my head or something?
...Well, I can't deny that though.
Certainly, it might have crossed my mind for a moment, but I have no intention of actually saying it. And Sera wouldn't actually listen to it if I did.
「Fran, what favor did this daughter of Meirhartz receive? ...The gift of life. Shiki-san went so far as to risk his own life to save you, so shouldn't you at least have the resolve to accept whatever unreasonable demand he imposes on you?」
She would listen to it. It bothers me a bit that she's assuming I'll demand something outrageous, though.
...Although, these guys are Ruruka's party members. If it ends up like ’’I had your ally give me her virginity as thanks for saving her life’’, Ruruka will no doubt despise me from the bottom of her heart. I can't demand something like that in the first place. Plus I have no interest in flat chests, either.
「B-But, even for a life debt, saying ’’anything at all’’...!」
「Fran, when it looked like you were going to fall into the river, at that time I regretted not putting my foot down more firmly with you. You can only become the next lord if you're still alive. If you hate such things, then don't incur any life debts anymore.」
Sera addresses Fran with even greater fervor. She's sounding like a preacher.
Somehow this is giving me the impression that I can't really make an unreasonable demand, and that I'm just being used as a pretext for Fran's education. I mean, that's most likely how it is.
When her sermon to Fran is over, Sera gives me a small wink so that only I can see it. As I thought, it means I can't really ask for anything at all;this is a kind of lesson.
「Very well, Shiki-san. Please say whatever it is you'd like Fran to do for you.」
For starters, I look Fran's body up and down as if I'm tasting it with my eyes. That alone makes Fran clasp her hands over her body in an attempt to hide it while glaring at me. Is she that anxious about it? Her eyes are getting watery.
...I think she should just reject it if she hates it that much, but perhaps because of that ’’daughter of the lord’’ title she's being excessively dutiful.
Though, what do I ask of her? I don't especially feel like there's anything I want from her...
Wait, there is something.
「Oh right, tell me where Ruruka is currently staying.」
I want to follow up with Ruruka over today's incident, but I don't know which inn she's staying at. Her party members should know.
Fran's eyes widen at my request. She must have been sure my request would involve her chastity, but she's thinking too highly of herself. I have no more interest in a flat body than the average person.
「Yep, that's it.」
When I return it right back to her, Fran closes her eyes in contemplation. Perhaps she's wondering if there's some sort of catch.
「...Why are you asking about such a thing? Besides, now that you mention it, Ruruka said she was going to meet you this morning. She said she wanted to go sightseeing together with you in town. You still haven't met up yet?」
No, we already met. Hold on, Ruruka was saying something like that? Even though she was acting like she ran into me in town by chance, was it not entirely a coincidence after all?
「W-Well, nothing to worry about there. If you know, tell me.」
「...Did you do something to Ruruka? Even if you're my savior, I won't forgive you if you did something indecent to Ruruka. It hasn't even been four months since I met her, but she's still my precious comrade.」
Even if I tell her that I thought Ruruka invited me to do indecent things but then she ran away and it got awkward, I doubt she'll be able to trust me. She seems to be wary of me. Well, if it were me I would absolutely never give out a female acquaintance's address to a serial se*ual harasser, to be fair.
Wait, Ruruka hasn't even known these two for 4 months? Ain't that about as long as she's known me?
「I thought you'd known each other for a longer time. I'm a little surprised.」
「Four months ago, Ruruka was surrounded by monsters in the labyrinth, and we happened to save her. We were beginning adventurers at the time and we were experiencing difficulties even on the lower floors, so we desired an ally.」
That reminds me, this girl became an adventurer because she screwed up a marriage interview and got kicked out of the house. Her getting to know Ruruka, an adventurer, couldn't have happened that long ago. It was probably a matter of course for Fran and Sera, who can't do much besides attack with magic and a bow, to form a party with Ruruka, who specializes in protection with a shield.
「...Well, if you don't want to tell me where Ruruka is, that's fine. I'm sure we'll meet again soon anyhow.」
There's no need for me go out of my way to ask for her whereabouts. So long as she's commuting back and forth between the tavern I bet I'll run into her sooner or later.
When I respond like that, Fran calls out to Sera next.
「Well then, let's leave it at that. Sera, isn't it about time we return? I've finished my marbled royal capital beef.」
「Fran... you ultimately haven't done anything for Shiki-san.」
Sera hands me a marbled royal capital beef skewer that she bought while I wasn't paying attention, and speaks out in an astonished tone. Now that I think about it, she's right. Even though this was supposed to be about me asking whatever I want of her as thanks, in the end I've neither heard about Ruruka's inn nor done anything erotic. I did receive a skewer from Sera just now, but that's it.
Taken aback by Sera's words, Fran once again covers her body and glares at me. Is this abnormal wariness due to her man-hating or because it's me?
This is getting a little tiresome.
「Okay, do you know of a magic tool that has the effect of raising MP? Buy it for me.」
「...That's quite an unreasonable demand out of nowhere. I myself have wanted one for a long time, but I could never buy such a thing on my own. Perhaps Father would buy it for you if you asked him in earnest, but in that case you'd end up having to marry me for real this time.
...I detest the idea.」
I'll pass on getting married to Fran too. But man, he may actually buy me a 10 million Zeni magic tool if I implore him? That's incredible. I guess that's the lord of a labyrinth city for you. If Fran had big tits and a ladylike personality I might consider it.
「Oh my, is it no good? Fran can get married to the man who bet his life to defend her from a monster, and in addition, Shiki-san can obtain the magic tool he desires. I think it's quite an ingenious idea.」
「L-Like I said, t-that's out of the question!」
Sera interrupts from the sideline, but Fran immediately shuts her down.
「Though you would be taking your wife's name, as a noble it is common to have mistresses and illegitimate children, so I expected Shiki-san to find it highly agreeable...」
What's with that detail. In this world, monogamy is standard for the masses, but apparently that's not always the case for nobles. I've always been considering building a harem somehow since it's another world and all, but I get the feeling the goal is finally in sight.
...Well, be that as it may, I can't possibly see myself getting married to Fran. My interest is slightly piqued though.
Whether or not Sera is aware of my feelings, she continues the discussion.
「And Fran, Shiki-san has been recognized by Lord-sama... moreover, the fact that you didn't try very hard to correct Lord-sama's earlier misunderstanding, justthat proves that even if just slightly, you wouldn't have minded allowing the misunderstanding to carry on like that and become the truth.」
The moment that Sera says that, a ball of fire abruptly materializes above Fran's palm.
Chantless magic invocation. The fireball is quite irregularly-shaped, and its size is rather small. It looks so unstable that it might disperse at any second, but Fran is glaring harshly and brandishing it at me.
「O-Oi oi oi, wait a minute! W-What are you planning to do!?」
-The story I previously heard from Ruruka springs to mind. How Fran fired off attack magic into her marriage interview partner's crotch and was expelled from her house.
...Don't tell me this is the same feeling she was giving off back then? This girl hasn't grown one bit, has she!
Sera cries out at once, but Fran doesn't stop. Even if I try to avoid it, I was completely taken by surprise and it doesn't seem like I'll dodge it in time.
Is this the same roast loin course that the noble was treated to at his marriage interview with Fran? A fireball of this size shouldn't be fatal, but at this rate my heart will give out. Yeah, maybe it's better not to get involved with this girl after all.
-I lock eyes with Fran, who looks like she could throw the fireball at any moment.
Her face is bright red, perhaps out of shame, and her eyes are watery too. Is she that mortified by what Sera told her? But throwing a fireball just because she's embarrassed is intolerable.
Then- just before she's about to throw the fireball. At the very last moment, Fran flings it onto the ground. Breathing roughly, she stares at the black scorch mark that she created on the ground.
「T-That was friggin' dangerous...! W-What the hell has gotten into you!」
...Somehow I get the feeling I've realized one of the reasons why Sera was trying to hook me up with Fran. First, there likely isn't anyone who would accept such an aggressive woman. Second, if I'm attacked it won't become that big of a deal since I can use healing magic. Sera mentioned that the lord approves of me and I'm her savior and all, but something tells me the first two are the real reasons. I take a look at Sera, and she's just holding her head like ’’she's done it again’’.
And yet, with zero remorse, Fran makes a sort of refreshed face and opens her mouth.
「You... are a healer, yes?」
Even though her tone is normal, I can feel an air of intimidation. No doubt due to that scorch mark on the ground.
「You cannot use offensive magic, yes?」
I've previously learned a little about attack magic from customers at the hospital before, but I wasn't able to use it at all. I don't really understand why, though.
「Indeed. Very well, I've decided how to repay you. From now on, I shall teach you offensive magic... I trust you have no issue with that, yes?」
She probably wants to put a stop to all talks of marriage right here and now. From her intensity I can tell that I have no say in the matter.