I Work As A Healer In Another World’s Labyrinth City - Chapter 71
「That's terrific, Yuel!」
「Hahhh, Yuel-chan, you're amazing.」
「Offensive magic at this age... truly incredible.」
It's been a few hours since we returned to the lord's mansion. Yuel is awkwardly being showered with praise by Fran, Ruruka and Eris. A brilliantly blazing ball of flame is floating above her left hand;the result of the magic lesson from Fran.
「Even for Fran, who was once praised as a talented young lady, it took two years after she began to study magic before she was able to use Fireball. To think that Yuel was able to use it after just a handful of magic lessons...」
Behind Fran, Sera raises her voice in wonderment at the sight of Yuel casting attack magic.
...By ’’once praised as a talented young lady’’, does that mean she's not praised anymore? She's reasonably beautiful, and her magic skills are excellent, plus she's the lord's daughter. She certainly gives off that ’’praised’’ feeling.
...Most likely, her personality was the cause of her no longer being praised. I'm scared that before long, I too will be labeled as a pervert or something and stop being praised.
「Well done, Yuel.」
From all the praise, Yuel becomes bashfully delighted. By the way, I still can't use magic. Fran's lesson lasted several hours, but the only one who could use attack magic was Yuel. From sleeping together with me every day, Yuel's mana capacity most likely crossed the minimum threshold for attack magic. Although I get the feeling that her being able to use it so quickly is mostly due to her mana manipulation sense and innate talent. And it seems like she'll be able to use healing magic, too.
「Yuel is a prodigy indeed. I would hire her right this moment as my escort.」
「Maaan, you sure are amazing. Fran sometimes teaches me too, but I can't use it at all yet.」
「In the future, Yuel-chan could even become the Grand Wizard...」
Perhaps embarrassed over the continuous praise, Yuel starts to tug on her bangs and hide her face. She must not be that used to being complimented. Adorable.
「Incredible, Yuel. As expected of my Hero.」
Of course, I'll pat her head and praise her even further.
-Although, something tells me I need to show some dignity here as her master. It's uncool for me to be unable to use attack magic even though Yuel can. And she found out about Appraisal, so as her master I have to reestablish my worth a little.
...But how do I infuse my mana?
Even if I try to imbue my cane with mana, maybe because I can't really form a good image for attack magic, my mana shows no sign at all of flowing out. And yet I can easily invoke healing magic.
...I wonder if I have to properly remember the chant or something, after all?
...Or maybe I should form a more accurate image for the attack magic?
Look, like this, imagine inert organic matter floating in the air, combine it with oxygen and make it combust, then steadily accelerate that with mana....
-That instant. I feel a sensation like some sort of restraint popping off.
If I had to compare it to something, an avalanche. It's like I was trying to tip a wine glass, but ended up toppling a massive water tank, that sort of surging intensity. I feel my mana flow endlessly into the cane with tremendous force.
...Oh man, this is dangerous!
When I sense the danger I try to cut off the flow of mana, but I can't stop my mana by my own will.
...With this amount of mana, what's going to happen when the spell is finished? This isn't my usual healing magic. I can't begin to imagine how far it will extend, or how powerful it will be. Fireball is attack magic that emits high-temperature flames.
Those words cross my mind.
Suddenly, a hand comes in from the side and knocks the cane out of my grasp. The cane falls to the ground, and the mana disperses without materializing.
「S-Shiki-sama, just now...! Was that offensive magic...?」
It's the saint. How long has she been here? No, maybe she just happened to pass by. She's terribly flustered, breathing heavily as she looks at me.
「Y-You saved me, Philine! T-That was close!」
The flow of my mana into the cane completely stopped when it fell from my hands. The mana that used to be gathered within me leisurely returns, attempting to meld back into my body. Looks like it's over.
...She really saved me. Without a doubt, that one was ’’dangerous’’.
「I-It was only supposed to be... magic practice...」
Did Fran sense the strange signs as well? She's gawking at me and the saint with a frightened face. Like she was about to cross a street and a 10-ton truck came barreling right past her, that's the kind of expression she's making. Most likely, she felt the disturbance from my abnormal flow of mana just now. Yuel started to stand up too.
Ruruka, Eris, and Sera are staring at Fran in puzzlement. Somehow, it seems that Fran, Yuel, the saint and I were the only ones who noticed the crisis.
「I am terribly sorry, Shiki-sama. I should have told you sooner.」
After briefly surveying the scene, the saint lets out a single sigh. Then, perhaps comprehending the situation, she calmly begins to weave her words.
「Shiki-sama's mana cannot be handled so easily. The former Sage-sama once accidentally discharged offensive magic and vaporized an entire mountain by himself. And at that time, he too was swallowed up by his own magic and met his end, according to church documents. This matter has been kept secret from all but the highest-ranking priests, however...」
An entire mountain. That expression most likely isn't an exaggeration or anything. There was the power of the cane as well, but my mana alone was being amplified to such a degree that I wouldn't be surprised if that level of damage happened. If I hadn't let go of the cane, the whole city might have been annihilated.
Looks like they've realized what sort of situation we were just in. Ruruka, Eris and Sera are speechless.
「Shiki-sama. I think you ought to consider that a Sage-sama can only handle the type of magic in which he specializes. Before he was summoned, the previous Sage-sama was employed as a sealer of spirits, and on this side he was only able to use sealing magic.」
I wonder if the previous sage was an exorcist or something?
...That feeling earlier, the flow of mana was like a turbulent river. I've released too much mana before when I accidentally fired off healing magic, but compared to that, the one just now was on another level entirely.
Comparing mana flow to water pipes, the times I accidentally fired off healing magic felt like yanking a faucet open forcibly. But that last one felt like trying to use a rusty, decrepit supply line, and then having the water main explode. The fact that I can only handle my field of expertise, healing magic, was made abundantly clear just now.
「Shiki-sama, most likely you too previously excelled at healing-related talents.
...You absolutely must not use offensive magic, for which you have no aptitude.」
「Y-Yeah. I'll take that to heart.」
Fran tried to teach me magic, but sorry, I don't think I'm gonna try to use attack magic anymore. Yeah, that was way too dangerous. The way I am now, there's no way I could control it. I'm confident about that.
「Um, the previous Sage-sama losing his life due to his magic going out of control... is that confirmed?」
Eris inquires of the saint. For Eris, who studied at a church, the truth might be shocking.
「...Indeed it is. I presume you are aware that near the royal capital, there is a remarkably effective sacred ground? That place is said to be the location where the former Sage-sama died from the accidental discharge of magic. And that the flesh and blood of the Sage-sama, returned to the soil, gather mana from the surrounding area. It is said that shortly after Sage-sama's death, the effect was dozens of times higher than it is today...」
Then, as she's explaining to Eris, the saint's body leans unsteadily. At once, I support her body with my hand.
「Whoops... you okay? You lost your balance there.」
「T-Thank you very much.」
I was all worked up earlier about my mana running amok so I didn't notice, but now that I think about it, her complexion is awfully pale. The term ’’pallid’’ would be appropriate.
「S-Saint-sama! I knew it, please rest for a while! Certainly, the succubus must be subjugated as soon as possible, but there is no point in Saint-sama working yourself to death! You need not concern yourself with what the bishop said!」
Astel, who had approached beneath my notice, admonishes the saint in a strong tone. She must have been erasing her presence this whole time. Now she's staring earnestly at the saint's face with an extremely worried expression.
...Now that I think about it, I get the impression that ever since the succubus' revival, the saint has been running around constantly. In place of the lord, whose evil-god-related knowledge is sparse, the saint has been directing the knights and filling him in. But the succubus likely can't make a move on me or the saint anymore, so I think it'd be fine for her to relax a little. I wonder if that means it's related to what Astel said about a bishop?
「What do you mean by ’’What the bishop said’’?」
「...Ah, yes. The reinforcements we requested from the royal capital for the battle with the succubus apparently arrived at this city not long ago, and it would seem that those reinforcements are accompanied by a bishop from the royal capital as well. Accordingly, I am under investigation over the fact that the succubus resurrected in my presence, and was allowed to escape numerous times.
Reinforcements from the royal capital, huh? Oh yeah, we did call for them. In the end, they didn't make it in time for the succubus battle, though.
「That's not fair! Aside from Saint-sama, nobody else saw through the archbishop's scheme or tried to quash it! That bishop didn't do a thing;he has no right to criticize Saint-sama! That bishop is merely searching for material he can use to attack Saint-sama and snatch the rank of archbishop away from her!」
Astel is indignant.
...I more or less get the idea. The saint hails from the royal capital. Based on what Astel just said, the saint must hold the position of archbishop with jurisdiction over the royal capital area. And, aiming for that position, this bishop from the royal capital is using the fact that she couldn't prevent the succubus' revival to pick a fight with her. Is that about right? It's an internal power struggle within the church.
「Ahh, sounds a bit tough. But, well, shouldn't you get some rest? Look, like Astel said, if you keel over then you'll lose everything, right?」
「No, until we capture the succubus, there is a mountain of work I must attend to. The truth is, the succubus was revived right before my eyes, and I allowed her to escape on two occasions. And D'arnaud is no longer around to bear the responsibility, so if someone must take the fall for this matter, it will doubtlessly be me.
...At this rate, if the succubus is not apprehended, at the next pontifical conclave, it would not be unthinkable for me to lose my position.」
...That reminds me of something that Astel mentioned. That the saint, who has gone and purged countless rotten priests, has many enemies. Most likely, if the succubus isn't captured before they have the next bishop conference or whatever, the saint's position will really be in danger.
「...Moreover, that bishop cannot be trusted. I have no concrete evidence yet, but one of my subordinates reported the possibility of his collusion with slave merchants. That bishop must not be afforded even the slightest possibility of becoming archbishop.」
To add to that, according to the saint, there's a good chance that this bishop from the royal capital is on the rotten priests' side. If such a person is appointed to a higher position, the saint won't even be able to protect her own body.
「Currently, corruption is rampant within the church. Because of that, many orphanages and nursing homes have gone under due to financial difficulties, and innocent young children are sold into slavery against their will.
...That is inexcusable. And I am the only one who can correct the present situation, by throwing my weight around in the church as a descendant of the Sage. That is why I must not lose my archbishop position yet.」
Then, with a noticeably fatigued expression, the saint elaborates.
...Somehow, I feel like I'm gradually starting to understand this person known as the Saint. Wanting to reform corruption and rescue the weak. Most likely, those are the saint's genuine feelings.
If I really think about it, the saint's actions did actually give off that impression. She performed treatment free of charge during the festival, and gave her own ring to an orphan whom she was unable to heal. And her use of shills to accumulate piety and raise her healing magic ability, that too might simply have been for no other reason than to be able to treat more people. Then there were her past purges of priests. For her to continue doing those purges, which most likely didn't bring much merit to the saint herself and even created enemies for her within the church, that too was solely for the sake of saving the weak.
The weak that's right, for example, those like Yuel. The first time I saw Yuel, she was in an absolutely terrible condition. Going from an orphan to a slave, without any decent medical treatment she was just waiting for death. If the church's corruption isn't corrected, there will most likely be more cases like hers from now on.
...Kinda seems like the saint really has it rough. Yuel is glancing back and forth between me and the saint out of concern, too.
Oh well. In front of Yuel, I can't very well refuse to extend my hand to a person in need, can I?
「Just because you're ’’a descendant of the Sage’’, there's no need for you to shoulder every single burden by yourself or anything. A genuine Sage is right here.」
I'll help her out a little. Besides, if she collapses here, it seems like there'll be all sorts of trouble for me as well.
「Is there... anything I can do?」
I offer tentatively. I doubt I'd be able to do things like command the knights or coordinate between all the cities, but there's gotta be something I can do.
...Like, uh, m-magic tool appraisal?
When I do, the saint looks at me in surprise like she wasn't expecting me to ask. After that, she makes a determined expression for a moment, then turns back to me and smiles.
「Yes! Certainly, Shiki-sama! By all means, join me in the bath, and let us wash away our fatigue!」
Before I can question her, Eris and Ruruka's shocked voices reverberate throughout the mansion.