A little late, but it’s still the 26th where I am, so I’m saying I’m safe. Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and Boxing Day everyone. Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season like I am.
Section 7: Healing Miracle
The moment Rose-san put her hand on the wet stone wall, the dark passageway was filled with light. This was the spot where I had that uncomfortable premonition. The place we wrote off and passed by.
“A hidden door.”
Toslin and Carol let out an amazed voice as Rose-san stood there stunned. Although I had been pretty confident I was right, I’m still amazed at all the miracles taking place before my eyes today.
“T-This too……is this also the Goddess’s grace………?”
Rose-san spoke with quivering lips. The wall of rock disappeared before our eyes, replaced with a wooden door. I don’t know what kind of magic is being used here, but it gives off a strange presence that draws our gaze.
“……….Carol, if you would”
Moistening her dry lips, Toslin finally said something. Carol jumped as if she had suddenly remembered something and started checking the door.
“It looks like there aren’t any traps on it, but I can’t be sure. If there’s a magic trap on it, I won’t be able to find it without any magic power. Does Iris feel anything?”
I was pulled out of my daze in surprise when the matter suddenly turned back to me.
“R-Right. I already don’t feel………I don’t feel anything.”
That weird feeling I was getting disappeared along with the rock wall.
“Then I’m opening the door, okay?”
When Carol glanced back, Toslin and Rose-san clenched the hilt of their weapons and nodded. I also held the grimoire Rose-san had entrusted to me close to my chest and swallowed my saliva.
The creak of the rotting wooden door echoed as it slowly opened.
Beyond the door was a space packed with greenery. Ivy growing on the walls reached down and coated the floor as well. The ceiling actually served as an atrium allowing us to look around the room without having to rely on light from torches.
“You all…….who are you……… How did you get in here……”
Suddenly I hear a voice coming from just out of sight. The noise startles me, and I jump behind Toslin’s back without thinking.
Toslin shouted out while pointing the tip of her sword towards where the mysterious noise came from. The room was only about ten meters wide. In the far corner of the room a large amount of moss had built up, and a man was currently lying back on it. In this small, quiet space, his strained breathing stood out.
“By chance…….are you Quinn-san?”
I timidly called over to him.
We all shared a look between each other. Rose-san and Toslin quickly sheathed their weapons and briskly walked over to him. Carol and I followed after them as a matter of course.
“We were sent from the Warrior’s Guild. We received a request from Relton’s mayor Chris to come look for you.”
The soft light from the ceiling illuminated Quinn-san revealing an older man with a splendid beard. He also had a solid build, probably from going back and forth through the snow. But, right now he looks like he’s in a lot of pain, and there’s a cold, greasy sweat on his brow.
“Ah……..is that so……… *Cough* *Cough*……. How many days has it been already……. I managed to escape here…….”
Quinn-san’s face was deathly pale as he laid back on the moss bed, so much so that even an amateur like me could tell he was in a bad way. The stomach portion of his white shirt was stained with blood that had already started turning brown. That was where his wound probably was.
“Gh, I departed from the village….g-goblins……goblins……. So many goblins, more than I’ve ever seen…….. *Cough* *Cough* *Cough*”
Fresh blood spittled on the corner of Quinn-san’s mouth. I couldn’t bear the sight of it and unconsciously covered my face with my hands. Toslin however calmly ripped off his shirt to examine the wound on his stomach.
“Avoid talking for now. This is definitely from a knife or something like it.”
I couldn’t make out Quinn-san’s wounds that well when I peeked through my fingers because of all the smeared, caked on blood, but I could still tell he was seriously injured. Fresh blood kept dripping out preventing the area around the wound from drying completely.
“Rose, can you heal him?”
Toslin looked behind her, and Rose-san quietly nodded her head. She then gently held the palm of her hand over Quinn-san’s wound.
“The adherent Rosalith Cuulbacall offers her prayers. Goddess, heal this person’s wounds.”
Rose-san’s palm started emitting a golden light after her solemn prayer that slowly began to wrap around Quinn-san’s wound. This was a miracle only capable by a member of the clergy recognized by the Goddess like Rose-san. Borrowing the Goddess’s power, they can increase a person’s resilience or heal their injuries. Miracles aren’t magic, so they don’t require any magic power. Only a deep reverence for the Goddess.
“So, warm……. I see……no wonder………”
Quinn-san’s complexion visibly improved. He was turning a healthy color, and his breathing wasn’t nearly as rough.
“So it seems like this is a fairy village.”
As Rose-san continued with the treatment, Toslin restarted asking her questions, and Quinn-san nodded his head.
“Yes. It seems like fairies have lived here for a long time, since the battle a thousand years ago probably. Only fairies can come in here. Otherwise, followers of the Goddess that the fairies invite in.”
“I see, and Quinn-san’s family have been followers of the Goddess for generations. So you were able to get in here.”
“Yes. One time when I was a kid, I got lost and found myself here. Back then there was a rumor that a witch lived here, but thinking about it, that was probably just a lie our ancestors cooked up so we wouldn’t come snooping around here. Anyway I knew where this place was. And I knew if I came here, the goblins wouldn’t be able to follow.”
The light from Rose-san’s palm began to dim, and the healing power was lost along with it. However by now Quinn-san’s wound had almost completely vanished. Rose-san bowed her head and took a short breath.
“Oh Goddess, thank you very much. This priestess offers her gratitude to you”
With his injuries recovered, Quin-san bowed his head just as his father Chris-san had, and offered a few words of prayer towards Rose-san.
“Thanks Rose. This is a huge relief.”
“Yeah, now our reward won’t get reduced.”
Carol had been quiet up until now, restlessly looking around not knowing what to do, but once her true feelings leaked out, Toslin naturally hit her head. Of course Rose-san didn’t say anything herself and was now keeping her head down because of her vow of chastity.
“By the way, you mentioned goblins earlier. Does that mean they were the ones who attacked you?”
Now that Quinn-san had completely regained his energy, Toslin started speaking more politely, wearing her best business smile.
“Yes, before I knew it, I was surrounded by them…….”
I see, so it really was a goblin attack? That explains why all the medicine was still there at least.
“Was there anything else that attacked you? A dark elf perhaps?”
“A dark elf? N-No……I only saw goblins.”
Quinn-san thought about it for a moment, but he inevitably shook his head. Maybe he just didn’t see them? Or had they already left the forest by then, and Quinn-san ended up running into the leftover goblins because of some bad luck?
“Is that so…..because you see, this girl over here is the one who tracked the footprints…….and she insists you were attacked by something other than a goblin. If that’s true, whatever it is might still be hiding nearby.”
Toslin grabbed Carol and forced her in front.
When Quinn-san started looking a little embarrassed, the room was suddenly filled with a loud creak, and the only door to this room swung open.
What appeared was a huge, bald man. His thick, bronzed muscles bulged underneath his black jacket armor. A huge ax hung at his waist, and as soon as he noticed us, his gaze turned severe. Toslin drew her long sword, a sharp gaze similar to the man’s in her eye.
“Who are you! What are you doing! I’ll cut you down depending on your answer!”
Toslin roared loud enough to make my eardrums shake.
“Goddess, forgive this man for his sins! HAaaaaaaaaaah!”
However before the man could give a response, Rose-san had lifted her shield and charged with the ferocity of a wild beast. The man quickly pulled out his ax, lowering his body to meet Rose-san head on.
“Wai………hold on a minute!”
However it was Quinn-san who put an end to the confrontation. He peeled his sick body off the wall and jumped in between the two. But while his injuries may have healed, it seems like he is still physically exhausted.
“Are you all right Quinn-chan?”
Dropping his ax to the ground, the man gently grabbed Quinn-san before he dropped to the floor.