Ex Strongest, Rescuing Unknown Girl
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While breathing roughly, Daniela wondered why this happened.
No, it wasn’t necessary to think about that. That was because she broke the rules and left the village. There were no other reasons.
Of course, she didn’t do so for no reason. It was to cure her mother’s illness, and she had no choice but to go get the herbs needed for that.
To begin with, it wasn’t uncommon for her mother to have an illness. Although the disease was endemic that only developed in this vicinity, treatment methods had been established. There was a need for a remedy procured using a particular herb, but that herb wasn’t uncommon in this area. The illness was easier to cure than a cold, but… it was bad at various times.
The original herbs were readily available, but sometimes, it was limited. That was especially true when multiple people had developed the same illness at the same time. Among the people who had developed the illness was a hunter who always went to get the herbs. Most importantly, the light that happened about two weeks ago had created a rule where no one would go out of the village.
Something like this wouldn’t happen if every event didn’t occur at the same time. However, she had fallen into a situation where there wasn’t enough medicine for her mother, and she couldn’t make a new one.
Although the cure of the illness that her mother suffered had been established, it was originally a fatal illness. In the past, it was so severe that thousands or ten thousands of people died. It was such a horrible disease that it was believed to be one of the reasons why this area was full of wilderness.
The first few days were still good. Even though her mother was bedridden, she was able to have conversations and smiled as before, but… it was the day after five days that she realized her mother was overdoing it. As if it were a lie that the mother had been fine until then, but now, she couldn’t even speak.
From there, it was quick. By the time another three days had passed, her mother had become so weak that she thought she would die soon.
It was clear that her mother wouldn’t live if she didn’t take the medicine right away, but there was no medicine. The hunter was told to rest just in case, and he was forbidden to go outside.
In the first place, they didn’t know what was going on outside even if they went out. The only villagers who had the fighting ability to the extent possible when something happened were the hunters, and although there was a guard, the guard was hired to protect the village. It didn’t make sense to let them go out of the village.
That was why Daniela went out there. Even if she asked someone to get the herb, she was refused, so she sneaked out in the middle of the night. It was scary, but nothing could compare to the fact that her mother might die, but, since she didn’t listen to everyone’s advice, she was sure she would be punished.
She went out to pick some herbs, but for some reason, no herbs were growing.
In case of emergency, she listened carefully to the location, so there was no way she could mistake the herbs. Even so, no matter how many times she checked, there were no herbs growing.
Then, when she tried to return to the village after being disappointed, she was thought of as a thief and was chased.
Perhaps, it was because she had been running all the time, her legs got tangled and fell on the spot. She tried to get up in a hurry, but immediately after that, she frowned.
“What th-…” (Daniela)
What she saw was blood running down on her leg.
It wasn’t a deep wound. It was a small injury made by the fall, but it was probably because she had seen… the blood. She suddenly lost strength from her body and collapsed on the spot.
“Ooh? What? Are you done running away?” (??)
“This is boring. Is it over already?” (??)
“Well, I don’t mind if you run away more.” (??)
“Hehe, well, it’s fine, isn’t it? It means that the time for fun will come sooner.” (??)
“Haa? What are you? Are you excited about such a brat? Are you a pervert?” (??)
“Haa!? What are you talking about!?” (??)
“That’s a fact, isn’t it?” (??)
She knew that the men, who were shouting and talking about what they liked to each other, were approaching, but she felt that she didn’t have the strength to move.
In the first place, where was she going to go if she ran away further? If she couldn’t find the herbs, she couldn’t save her mother.
If breaking the rules would achieve nothing and she had no choice but to take care of her dying mother, then here–…
“Tsk… what, is it really over already?” (??)
“Hehe… that means you really have fun, right?” (??)
“What a perverted bastard… well, I don’t mind, you know?” (??)
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“Haa, you’re really a pervert.” (??)
“Shut up!” (??)
“Yeah, yeah, you can do whatever you want, but you have to keep it in moderation–…” (??)
It was at that time that she was watching the men saying anything they liked with a feeling of desperation that she didn’t care what happened anymore.
The man, who was called the leader, suddenly disappeared while he was talking. She didn’t really know what happened, but… it was only a few moments later that she realized.
The moment she heard what sounded like something hitting them from far away, she realized that they hadn’t disappeared, but they had been blown away. And…
“Hmm… I miss the part of asking the question, but I guess I don’t need to do so because they are about to do a girl.” (Soma)
Instead, a young boy appeared. The men noticed him almost at the same time. They stared and shouted at him as they prepared themselves.
“Ha-haa!? What are you!?” (??)
“When the hell did you show up!?” (??)
“Why are you trying to get in the way!?” (??)
“Uhm, leader!? Where’s the leader!?” (??0
They shouted one after another, but the boy showed no concern at all. She thought that he looked at her for a moment, but she quickly looked at the men and muttered ‘hmm’.
“Well, it’s because I see it, and it’s faster to blow him away, right?” (Soma)
“You… what are you planning…!?” (??)
“I don’t know who the hell you are, but if you get in my way, I will not tolerate you. I’ll kill you!” (??)
While saying that, the men attacked the boy one after another, and… strangely, in the face of this scene, Daniela didn’t feel like saying anything to the boy. It wasn’t that she didn’t care or that she wanted to abandon him. It was just that somehow, she felt that she didn’t need to.
So, Daniela just watched in a daze as the scene turned out to be exactly what it was.
“Hmm… are you trying to get the herbs to cure your mother’s illness?” (Soma)
“…We’re not saying that we don’t understand your feelings, but you’ve been pretty careless.” (Aina)
“Y-yes… sorry. And thank you… very much.” (Daniela)
Soma shrugged back at the girl named Daniela, who had bowed to him while thanking him. There was no need to apologize or to thank him.
Speaking of recklessness, yes, she might be so, but when he thought about that, there was no other way to solve it. It was inevitable. Although he helped her, he was doing it on his own.
“E-even so… my mother told me to say thank you to anyone who is kind to me.” (Daniela)
“Is that so? In that case, I will accept it.” (Soma)
“She’s a good mother.” (Aina)
“Y-yes… that’s why I…” (Daniela)
In front of Daniela, who had turned her head and began to shed tears in her eyes, Aina made a flustered sound. She probably thought she was the cause of it. She wondered what she had done.
“What… you don’t have to worry. Even though this Onee-san, she is a great mage. She probably could heal your mother.” (Soma)
“Y-yes… uhm, so, your mother is…” (Daniela)
“…Well, I can’t say for sure until I see her, but for the time being, I’ll do my best.” (Aina)
Even Aina looked at him with the look of ‘there’s no way I can do it, you know!?’, Soma ignored her stare. It was true that he had never heard of Aina being able to treat illnesses, but it was surprisingly possible if she tried.
Soma’s sword technique was almost like that, so Aina must be able to do something similar when it came to magic.
“…I’m very jealous though.” (Soma)
“Wait a sec, I think I just heard some disturbing muttering!?” (Aina)
“It must be your imagination. So, Daniela, is there really a village where you live?” (Soma)
“Y-yes… it’s a bit further from here.” (Daniela)
Even so, the wilderness was still spreading beyond his line of sigh. Did that mean something there? Well, it didn’t look like the girl was lying. So, it was probably better to wait and see.
By the way, as for what they were doing at the moment, they were following Daniela’s recommendation and heading to the village where she lived. Rather than just helping Daniela, Soma blew the men, who were trying to attack her, away. Then, Aina caught up with him and joined them. Aina healed Daniela since she was injured, but when the girl saw it, her eyes were glistening, asking for Aina’s help. That was to save her mother.
Then, after listening to the situation briefly, they decided to go there for the time being. At that time, Aina looked at him, saying that it was impossible. He looked at her, but since she hadn’t tried it yet, they just proceeded to the village.
After all, going to the village was in line with the original goal. Aina didn’t know if she could help Daniela’s mother, but there was nothing wrong with going there anyway.
However, even though they should be heading to the village, the only scene spreading out around them was the wilderness. As far as they could see, they didn’t think that there was a village in a place like this.
“…Hmm? No, that is…” (Soma)
“Eh, what is it? Did something happen?” (Aina)
“There was something. Well, you’ll soon understand. Hmm… Anyway, there’s something like this huh…” (Soma)
“Hey, what is it–…” (Aina)
It was at the moment when Aina tried to shout. The surrounding area, which was certainly only a wilderness until just before, suddenly turned into a blanket of green.
Aina was letting out a flustered voice, as if she was surprised by that, but to tell the truth, Soma was also surprised enough. The only person who wasn’t surprised was Daniela. She pointed to the end of the road proudly.
“Our village is just down the road.” (Daniela)
“Hmm… I knew there was a barrier, but I wasn’t expecting so much green inside. It’s safe to call it a forest…” (Soma)
“Uhmm… I don’t know the details, but it seems that the area around this area was only a forest in the past. I heard that the village where we live… was cut off from part of it by the barrier.” (Daniela)
“… It was certainly like passing through a barrier a moment ago, but… I didn’t notice at all.” (Aina)
“Well, that’s because it’s fairly highly concealed. I think I probably wouldn’t have noticed it unless I was told that there was a village here.” (Soma)
It wasn’t as good as the one used in the secret passageway in the empire’s royal castle, but it was probably a bit inferior to that. The sorcerer who made this barrier was quite skillful. And at the same time, the village that was in such a barrier was clearly not just a village.
But Daniela might or might not know that, and even if he looked at her, she just tilted her head curiously.
“…Well, if we go there, we will understand.” (Soma)
“…Yes, you’re right.” (Aina)
As he proceeded while talking to Aina in a whisper, the green suddenly cut off. Immediately after, they could see an open space, where many houses lined up.
“I see, this is surely a village… hmm?” (Soma)
Soma suddenly tilted his head while looking at the village. It was because there was a familiar presence.
“…Hmm, Daniela, have you returned? …I’m glad… eh?” (??)
It was a girl who appeared from the inner part of the village, and she said so.
The person, who might have come to welcome Daniela, opened her eyes in amazement when she found her. However, it was the same for the other side.
Golden hair and eyes, distinctive pointed ears. The girl was an elf, a face he knew more than anything else.
It was Sheila.
“…Eh, Sheila?” (Soma)
“…Soma, and Aina too? …Why?” (Sheila)
“That’s our line though… hmmm.” (Soma)
He knew it wasn’t just a village, but there might be something more than he expected. Soma let out a breath as he looked at Sheila’s indescribable face. He clearly understood that she was still surprised.
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