Rotten to the Core
Now, let’s head to Tote.
I beckoned Satella and the Judo siblings to my room.
The reason I’m taking Satella with me is because she’ll go somewhere strange and end up in even more danger if I leave her behind.
“Your only job is to stay hidden under that cloak, got it?” I said Satella.
I smiled bitterly as she cheerfully raised her hand in confirmation, and I teleported us all to the place where the Judo siblings and I first met.
Everyone restlessly looked around in shock.
“Oi, get yourself together. Hurry up and lead us to your village,” I whispered to Judo before following him into the forest.
“Um……what was that back there?” Judo hesitantly asked.
“Moving us all here, I mean,” he clarified.
“Ah. That was my teleportation ability.”
“Teleportation…” he muttered to himself.
From what I heard, we will reach Tote if we follow this animal trail for about a day.
Well, it wasn’t as if I were in a hurry or anything. Once night fell, I would return to Straheim to stay the night before heading out again.
After about half a day of walking, the sky darkened so we teleported back to the inn and began to head deeper into the forest the next day.
Finally, we reached Tote.
“This is terrible……” I unwittingly commented after looking at this macabre spectacle.
How dare my stepmother’s subordinate look at such a tragic sight and still have the nerve to tax the same amount. I’m almost impressed by how fiendish he is.
An enormous amount of blood stained the ground as the fields blazed in the distance. There were even a couple of buildings completely destroyed by the fire.
Numerous people probably died here.
“First up is tending to the wounded. Guide the way.” I commanded Judo.
Judo started leading us to the wounded after aimlessly staring at the disaster for a moment.
Soon a couple of huts appeared into vision.
Once we entered, the foul odor of pus immediately attacked my nose. I could tell without looking; people were rotting here. I might’ve taken this a bit too lightly.
“Kid, who the hell are you! This isn’t a playground! Hurry up and get out!!” an elderly man with white hair yelled at me.
“I brought someone who can help,” Judo explained.
“Help!? What can a kid like this do!!? Won’t you leave already!?”
“Let me take a look at the wounds,” I ignored the elderly man. I quickly got to my knees and began examining a nearby patient.
“Hey! Don’t just carelessly touch them!!” he threateningly said as he grabbed my shoulder.
“I’ll lose focus so take that old man outside; he’s a hindrance,” I said to Judo.
He nodded once in response before dragging the elderly man who was still screaming outside.
The wounds were covered in pus and as expected, maggots followed, squirming about.
“There’s visible mucosal pallor……dehydration and Tachypnea, shit!”
There’s jaundice too. Probably blood poisoning and multiple organ failure. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to die at any moment. They aren’t treating these guys; this is just a place to keep patients before they eventually die.
“Fuck this shit!” I cursed.
Calm down! This isn’t like me. I have no idea what’ll happen if I were to use magic when this guy’s condition is so bad even maggots are crawling around. There’s no meaning to it if I don’t do something about them first.
As I thought, as theory dictates, the first step to treating myiasis is to pluck out the maggots and wash the wound. I can then treat it with magic, but can magic even help blood poisoning?
No, I can think about that after. In any event, I’ve got to do something.
I took out an iron stove from my item box and casted into it the low rank magic, Water Bullet.
I never thought that the cookware I’d bought just the other day for the restaurant would end up coming in handy like this.
Carla and Satella immediately paled at the sight of countless maggots squirming about.
“Bring all the clean towels you can find!!” I shouted.
I don’t know if they heard my voice or not, as they only shook dumbfound in response.
“Hurry it up!!!” I yelled, after which they finally began to move unsteadily while tears streamed down their faces.
Then, an old priestess-like woman garbed in white and red appeared with the elderly man from before and began spitting out absurdities. “The mountain gods are trying to purify them! Get away!”
“That’s right. An outsider brat like you needs to get lost!” a man jeered as more people flowed into the room with the elderly two. They, too, began throwing out insults left and right.
This could be called the end. It’s so hopeless I could cry.
“Judo. If you want to help these people, hurry up and kick these dumbasses out!” I said.
“I got it,” Judo said as he turned to the crowd. “I’m sorry, but I need you to leave, granny. Hey guys! I’ll leave the rest to you!”
At Judo’s command, the other young people began forcing out the elders through kicks and screams.
“Boil some water on the stove and dip some cloth and that wooden comb in!” I demanded.
There wasn’t much meaning to it, but it was better than nothing.
I lowered the pressure of Water Bullet and formed it into a thin line of water before pouring it into the wound. With a splash, countless maggots flowed out of the wound. Good, now–.
With the maggots on the surface washed away, I combed out any that were hiding deeper in the wound, before washing it all once again for insurance. After repeating this process multiple times, I finally flushed out every last maggot, then placed my palm on the patient and casted【Middle Heal】.
I was able to heal about a third of the wound, and after casting it again I healed around 90% in total. It seems that this spell expends quite a lot of magic power. Currently, the wound isn’t nearly as severe as before, so if I just apply some honey and bandage the wound, it’ll heal soon enough.
“Amazing……” Judo and the others said, dumfounded.
“What are you guys standing around for! The cloth’s gone cold!”
“Now, make sure to wash your hands well and apply that honey to any affected parts. Then, wring out the water from a cloth and use it to wrap the wound. We’re moving on to the next one. Hold steady everyone!”
I collapsed to the floor after we finally finished the 35th and last patient. I’d be lying if I said I could still stand. This incessant headache is probably from overusing magic. If I lost focus for even a moment I would pass out.
With all the madness that those elders are spouting, I’m basically in enemy territory. Losing consciousness would be akin to suicide.
But I still have things to do.
“Are you okay, Grey-sama?” Satella asked, her face wrought with worry.
“Yeah,” I said and stood up, when,
“Boss!” Judo and the others ran at me with tears flowing.
“How are the patients?” I asked.
“Everyone’s complexion has improved,” Carla sobbed in relief, “and their breathing has steadied as well!”
I nodded lightly in response and from my item box I took out the rice–or riso–, meat, and wild plants I had in stock. Then, I placed them on the ground.
I ordered Riso (rice) through Giresse this morning, so I had plenty on hand.
“They’re still unstable, so you’ll need to feed them nutritious foods. Boil these in a pot and feed it to them. But do it slowly—one bite at a time.
I’ve almost reached my limit. Let’s go back to the inn.
“Satella, we’re gonna go back to the inn for a bit,” I said.
“Yessir!” she said as she jumped into my arms.
I began to teleport but was surrounded by tens of villagers all holding hoes and swords.
“What do you think you’re doing?” one elder demanded.
“He’s the devil incarnate!” another elder said. “If we let him escape, disaster will be brought upon our village!”
The old priestess-like woman stepped out of the crowd, her eyes brimming with insanity.
I see. It’s because of pieces of shit like her that so much misfortune has befallen the village.
“Devil incarnate, huh. Is that how you’ve eliminated anyone who goes against you? Old woman, what you done to the injured is a terrible sin, akin to straight-up torture,” I said.
“Stop spouting your lieees!!” she yelled.
“We won’t be deceived, deeemon!!” the old man cried.
At our conversation, the villagers began to look at one another. Although they were wielding weapons, none were pointed at me. The loud jeers came solely from the elders.
“You guys can all see their complexion, right!? The smell of pus has also disappeared! This all because this person healed them!” Judo tried to explain, but–.”
“Shut up! You accursed man! Because you summoned the devil, they’ve all been defiled. The mountain gods are probably angered. Ahhh, ahhh, no good, no good. Everyone, hurry up and kill this deeemon!” the old woman yelled in hysteria.
I didn’t think I’d be this annoyed; these guys are even worse than some shitty thieves.
“That’s right, kill him!” one elder ordered.
“It’s granny’s orders!” another elder spat.
“We need to cleanse those who learned the black arts. Isolate him at once!”
This is bad. The patients haven’t been fully healed, and they’re still skin and bones. They probably haven’t been fed at all since they were wounded. If I leave them be, they’re sure to die.
Now, what should I do… Even in this shitty situation, I could instantly kill everyone, but in that case I wouldn’t hold back. I’d be putting the cart before the horse if I killed even those who were forced into this, and I can’t put Satella in danger. I guess there’s no other option but to temporarily teleport back to the inn in Straheim.
The old woman pointed her cane at me in triumph, but everyone else refused to move, just hanging their heads in silence. It looks like not everyone is crazy here.
“What are you guys doing! Hurry up and kill him!” one elder said in exasperation.
“Don’t fuuuck with ussss!!!” a woman thundered. That woman wasn’t a part of Judo’s group, but part of the people who were surrounding me. “You said you’d cleanse them, but all you’ve done is pray! My brother kept getting weaker until he died three days ago!”
“What are you saying! His corrupt body certainly perished, but his soul ascended to the heavens where the mountain gods reside,” the old woman said as a vein popped on her head. “That’s something to be envious of!”
“That’s right!” an elder agreed. “If you aren’t proud of death then you’ll be divinely punished!!”
Their shitty theories are the same in every world.
“Hmm. If you’re so envious, then why don’t you go and visit this heaven you speak of? I’ll even help you out. Since you’re so pure, you’ll probably have no trouble reaching the heavens,” I offered.
The elders retreated a bit and formed a shield in front of the villagers. “D-don’t lose focus, my brethren! This is the devil’s cajolery!”
“Kill him! Kill the devil!” they began to chant.
“He certainly has a point,” one villager interjected. “When the goblins attacked us, where were those in the committee of elders? Weren’t they in the backlines, pompously spouting out orders! Why do they have to purify those who risked their lives and suffered severe wounds?”
“Yeah. They haven’t done anything for us, except order us to die for the mountain gods. I know, okay. You guys have quite the stockpile of rye, don’t you?” the woman said.
“What? Is that true?” a villager said, dubiously.
“It’s true. I mean, once I went to offer my prayers to my brother and brought a bunch of wild plants to the storehouse, where I found a mountain of rye,” she said.
“Oi, oi, this ain’t funny. We don’t have that kind of food to spare here!” the villager said as he reddened in anger.
“Hey, when we tried to talk with the Millard head, for some reason, the official who was supposed to have come from the capital had already gone back. Isn’t that weird?” a bald villager questioned.
“That stuff doesn’t matter! Hurry up and kill that devil!” the old woman yelled with bloodshot eyes and sweat streaming down her face. I think I can see where this is going.
Then, an aging man timidly raised his hand. “Sorry. I was too scared to say it before, but I saw it when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night; I saw a swordsman-like man with an evil glare enter granny’s house.”
“Oi, when you say a swordsman with an evil glare……” a villager said.
“Yeah, the swordsman she brought back from the capital.”
That swordsman was the shitstain of a mercenary that my stepmother brought back from the capital who had gotten violent with the servants whenever he felt like it.
“Fuck!!” the villager yelled. A fitting response for someone who had just found a new outlet for their rage.
In an instant, the villagers now surrounded the elders.
“Now that I think about it, weren’t you guys the ones who were so fixated on setting the meeting on that official’s last day?” the woman, whose brother had been left to die, said. She brandished her weapon and drew closer to the committee of elders.
“That’s enough,” a voice commanded from the back. The villagers turned to see a short old man that looked like a sage and a white-haired man wearing butler-like clothes.
“Chief!!” the villagers cried.
“Grey-sama!” Satella shouted.
“Haha……really?” While I was certain that things had just turned for the worse, my consciousness sank into darkness.
Opening my eyes, I faced a sleeping child in a maid outfit who was still clinging to me.
I turned to the nearby hearth where I found the village chief and Sebastian.
“How long was I out?” I asked.
“About five hours since then.” Sebastian replied.
That was the first time I had lost consciousness like that, and it took about five hours to regain consciousness. It was probably a useful experience, er, this isn’t the time for escapism.
“How much did you hear?” I asked.
“The villagers told me pretty much everything,” the chief said.
“Are you going to tell my father?”
If so, I would need to leave this land immediately. I’d be reluctant to just cast away Judo and his gang, but that’s fate. There’s nothing I can do; at worst, I should start thinking about fleeing to another country.
“I won’t. By the way, young master, did you really use healing magic?”
Well there wasn’t a point in trying to hide my magic. I should assume they’ve already sussed out that I have some type of teleportation magic just from the fact that I was able to come here.
The village chief suddenly bowed down in prayer, “Aahh! A saint!”
Sebastian only heaved a sigh in response.
“I need an explanation.”
“As I thought, you weren’t aware. There are only three people who can use healing magic in this empire: The Hero, the Holy Woman, and the Sage,” Sebastian explained.
“I thought I was the wicked devil?”
“Surely you jest. Even if it was for a moment, they tried to kill the Millard head’s son. I will dispose of them.”
Scary. Sebastian probably has some hitmen or something. Well, I had a feeling he did. It’d be too difficult as an amateur himself.
“Did they do anything else besides trying to kill me?”
“They’re your stepmother’s spies, and it looks as though they’ve made quite a killing. Moreover, she appears to have ordered them to gather all the injured in one place to reduce food costs, all in the name of prayer.”
They sustain injuries and lose their ability to labor, so they get culled. Basically, she never had any intention of letting anyone live. My stepmother is truly better off dead.
“Also, could you please stop worshiping me. It honestly isn’t that great of a feeling,” I frowned at the village chief who was still bent over in prayer. Having such superstitious beliefs will only have them turned against you. Why can’t they understand that?
“I’m very sorry, Sage-sama,” the village chief said.
He doesn’t understand at all. Still, it’s not my hobby to get angry, and I loathe the idea of getting placed on the same level as my stepmother.
“So? what will you do with me, Sebastian?” I turned to ask him. “I don’t have even an inkling of a desire to support my father who’s just my stepmother’s puppet. The same extends to Cliff, of course.”
“I understand. You are not a person who would work under another.”
“Meaning you silently approve of my actions?”
“Yes. Do as you please.”
I couldn’t determine whether he was telling the truth, but at the very least I didn’t detect any hostility. Well, for now, at least.
“What about the patients? Did you feed them?”
The village chief smiled at my question. “Please don’t worry. Everybody was able to eat. We’ve passed the most difficult hurdle.”
“I see. Is it alright if I sleep a bit more?”
I’d wake Satella up if I teleported to the inn right now.
“Sure, make yourself at home,” the village chief said.
“Sebastian, please nurse the patients……back to health……” I said as my consciousness slowly slipped back into darkness.