It’s been about a week since Riley fell asleep by Nainiae’s spell.
Sera’s bag, which was once full of food ingredients and expendable items, was gradually being depleted. Sera was taking care of Riley who was lying down, and the look on her face didn’t look so good. Perhaps she was concerned about the supplies.
“… This is really bad.”
Unlike a week earlier, Riley’s face looked quite red. She was also concerned about Riley.
He was feverish.
Riley never once caught cold, even when he took naps in the garden during middle of the winter. Now, he was suffering from a serious fever. He was making aching sound in pain in irregular intervals.
“He does not appear to be getting better…”
She checked the bonfire and replaced the wet towel on Riley’s forehead. She was anxiously biting on her lips. It was around that time. She could feel someone’s presence at the cave’s entrance.
‘Um? Is it Nainiae?’
Sera turned her head toward the direction. Having heard the heavy steps, she realized the one that came into the cave was not Nainiae but some unwelcomed guest.
“… Kuk. Again?”
She picked up her dual swords she had leaning on the wall and got up. She mumbled toward Riley who was asleep.
“Young Master. Please wait for a bit. I’ll come back after handling it.”
She placed the swords on her waist and drew both them out from the sheaths.
With muddled look on her eyes, Sera stared at the shadow of the unwelcomed that appeared near the cave’s entrance. She opened and closed her fingers holding the swords as she widened the distance between her feet to her shoulder width.
“I am sorry, but…”
The unwelcomed at the cave entrance found Sera and started to exude frosted breath while drooling from the mouth.
It was showing animosity.
It had its entire body wrapped in white and bluish fur. On its rugged, bumpy hand, it was wielding a huge bone as a bat. The unwelcomed guest was Yeti, a famous monster around snowy area.
“We had the dibs on this place first, so…”
It didn’t care what Sera had to say. Yeti lowered its body so the head won’t hit the ceiling. It waved its bat around and made ‘Bam! Bam!’ sound with its feet.
“… I cannot hand it over to you?”
“Guuuurrrr, guuurrrr! Uuuuurrrrrrr!”
Yeti roared, and Sera ignited flames on her swords.
It was aura blade technique, the one that only the swordsmen with understanding of mana could use.
Sera have not fought that many monsters before. However, perhaps because she improved upon the points that Riley brought to her attention, Sera was pretty high in swordsmanship among the servants of the Iphalleta mansion.
To demonstrate her skill, Sera didn’t panic at all despite seeing Yeti charging at her with heavy steps. She tightly held her swords and waited for the optimal timing.
It looked like she found the timing. With her eyes wide open, she slipped past the bat that was swung toward her head from above. It was when she was about to swing her swords. Read The Lazy Swordmaster first at https://lightnovelbastion.com (If you're reading this elsewhere, then it's stolen!)
Along with someone casting a spell, dark flame bloomed in front of Sera.
Yeti’s body was engulfed in black flame. Along with explosive sound, it disappeared without a trace. Sera broke cold sweat with dumbfounded face.
“… Uu…. Uuuuaaa.”
The flame suddenly appeared in front of her eyes and then subsided. Sera, who was wielding swords, vacantly stared at Nainiae who was walking into the cave.
“Hey. Nainiae, if you are going to use magic, tell me first before you do. I was shocked.”
“Ah, I am sorry.”
“If I get mixed up in it and we end up with two patients, then… really… I don’t even want to think about it.”
“That won’t happen. I always use my magic by controlling it.”
Her teacher was no ordinary one, so Nainiae was not going to make mistakes on that kind of things.
“Anyway, that was unexpected. To think a Yeti would come into the cave… In that case, I think I should cast barrier on the cave.”
Nainiae cast several layers of protective magic and an illusion magic at the cave entrance. She dusted off the snow on her head and shoulders as she walked.
“How’s Young Master?”
“He is still the same.”
It seemed Nainiae was worried. She went straight to where Riley was. She used her magic to raise the bonfire’s flame. The dish had the water and the towel inside. She changed the water to new one and got on her knees.
“The fever is… Ah ah… I think it might have gotten hotter. Just… Just what should we do…”
Feeling Riley’s forehead, Nainiae looked like she was about to break into tears. Sera sighed, set next to them and asked,
“How did it go?”
Having heard Sera’s question, Nainiae shook her head left and right and bit her lips.
Nainiae went outside for Riley, and she was saying it was a wasted trip again today.
“Uuuu… This is seriously bad. The fact that he is feverish is a serious problem, but… the bigger problem is that he is not able to wake up even though it’s been over a week.”
It was not the fever that was causing this.
It seemed like he was having nightmares. He was mumbling things as he slept, and he had been continuing to be like this.
“If we could get him to regain consciousness, mana could be moved to improve his condition, but…”
With the same look on her face as Nainiae, Sera looked at Riley who was struggling.
“… he is not able to wake up…”
“The effect from the sleep magic dissipated a long time ago. I guarantee it. Why… Why isn’t he waking up…”
Nainiae was tightening her fist and blaming herself. Having noticed this, Sera said,
“Please stop crying, Nainiae. I don’t think this is your fault.”
Noticing Nainiae faltering, Sera instead put up a determined look on her face. Sera asked Nainiae about ways to resolve the situation right now.
“Nainiae, until you can use the Teleportation again to go back… How long do we have?”
“That is… I think we will have to wait for another week. I used the sleep spell on Young Master Riley, and I had used magic here and there, so… To collect enough mana to reach all the way back to the mansion, we will need about that long…”
To spin her brain, Sera fiddled with her chin. Thinking that this must not continue, Sera shook her head lightly.
“We cannot wait that long. We are almost out of food. Moreover, since we don’t know when Young Master would wake up from sleep… his illness will only get worse in a place like this.”
Having heard Sera saying this was not a good place for Riley to be at the moment, Nainiae, who barely managed to calm down, started to blame herself again.
“If I was a skilled member of the Holy Temple…”
If she was like Priesia, if she was at least on par with a bishop of the temple, she might have been able to help Riley… However, Nainiae was just a mage, and she had no abilities like the people from the Holy Temple to heal people. She was hating herself because she realized she didn’t possess such abilities.
“Like I said, there is no need for you to criticize yourself like that.”
Nainiae looked upset. Sera pinched and pulled Nainiae’s cheek to make her get a grip. However, Sera was anxious just like Nainiae.Read The Lazy Swordmaster first at https://lightnovelbastion.com (If you're reading this elsewhere, then it's stolen!)
“If you are going to blame yourself, it won’t be too late if you did it after Young Master woke up first.”
Riley had been asleep for days, which was a problem. However, the snow storm outside was also a problem.
To help Riley heal, they needed to go somewhere at least. However, because of the snow storm, the chance for them to make the move was not coming.
‘We can’t let it be like this.’
It seemed like Riley was having a nightmare. He was struggling. Watching Riley struggle, Sera, who was hesitant until now, said to Nainiae as if she was certain of something,
“We need to get to another place.”
Sera got up. Nainiae, who was tending to Riley, looked at Sera, wondering if that would be all right.
“Anywhere… We need to go to a better place. With your magic, you can provide us with some protection from the environment, but… the problem is the supplies including the food. We are about to reach the limit.”
Sera got up and went to her bag. She realized the bag was now substantially lighter than it was when they first headed out from the mansion. She anxiously crumpled her eyebrows.
‘There’s about a day worth of food. Nainiae brought in a bit in the past few days, but… they are not even close to being enough. We don’t have enough.’
Last night, they lied and told the mansion that ‘Riley’s fine.’ Now, the situation was so dire that Sera was even regretting it. She wondered if she did the right thing or not.
‘Sera, be calm. You need to somehow.’
Sera brought out the map from the bag and went next to Nainiae. Sera asked,
“Nainiae, where are we approximately?”
For the past few days, Nainiae had been going out of the cave to make up for the diminishing food and find nearby places that could help them. Nainiae said,
“We are probably around here.”
Nainiae pointed at a place on the map with her finger. Sera looked around the place and narrowed her eyes.
‘This place is?’
Duke Philisneon’s Manor.
She found the letters not far from where they were.
‘Duke Philisneon’s Manor… Certainly… If it is the Duke’s mansion, the place is probably better than the cave… No, that place would obviously be better than here.’
There would be soft beds, and they would even have food for patients instead of the kind that they had at the moment for travels.
The place was definitely better than here beyond comparison.
The problem was if the Philisneon Manor was going to let them in.
‘Young Master was invited to the Duke’s end of the year banquet, but Young Master didn’t bring the invitation because he didn’t feel the need to go… We don’t even have any insignia to prove the Iphalleta name…’
Sera was furrowing her brows as she looked at the map. It seemed Nainiae realized what Sera was thinking. With concerned look on her face, Nainiae asked,
“Ms. Sera, are you… going to go there?”
Now that they have found a place that was different from the cave, a place that was far better and suitable for stay… They had to go no matter what.
“We can’t stay here like this.”
Sera folded the map and placed it back in the bag. She started to wrap up the luggage that were unfolded on the cave here and there.
“Let’s try going there. If we explain the situation, they might listen.”
* * *
“… I am sorry, but…”
The snow storm was blowing in full force.
“Those without permission cannot enter this place.”
They were at the Philisneon mansion’s entrance. The Iphalleta mansion couldn’t even be compared to this place. The mansion was almost the size of a castle. In front of the mansion, Sera tightened her fist and argued.
“Why? I am telling you, we are from the Iphalleta family?”
“You would not have been able to enter the mansion now even if you said you are the royalty from the Solia Castle.”
“It’s because the end of the year banquet is in session right now.”
Perhaps because of the cold winter weather, the guard was wearing layers after layers of insulating clothes. He looked rather fat because of that. The guard mumbled with uninterested tone.
“High nobilities are having conversations inside right now. It will be hard to deliver messages to them in person. Also… if it is Young Master Riley from the Iphalleta family, I am certain an invitation was sent to him last time?”
“You didn’t even bring the invitation, yet you are just asking me to let you in… Can’t you see I cannot help but to feel suspicious about this? Wouldn’t you think so too?”
The man had no idea how difficult it was for them to get here, yet… The snow storm was even worse now than when they were at the cave. Sera’s breath was creating frosts like clouds. Her face was frozen red. She started to argue some more with the guard.
“Still… Still, we have a patient here, so how could you!”
“Please try to understand from my perspective. Even if he is a patient, it is not confirmed if he is a nobility or a commoner, isn’t that right? If I let people like you in and said ‘Oh my… are you all right?’ the Duke may say off with my head right away. My life could be in danger.”
“Huuu…. How could…”
Sera bit her lips in front of the guard.
She came this far, thinking they would not be denied entrance, but… Her expectation was heartlessly stepped on.
She was feeling sorry for Nainiae and Riley who came all the way here because they believed in her. She was disappointed about being denied by the guard. It was obvious she was devastated.
Tears started to form around Sera’s eyes.
Standing in front of Nainiae who was faltering, Sera thought to herself to stay strong all this time, however, she was also a fragile woman.
She was in a very pressing situation. The tears that started to form around her eyes was like a dam that was about to burst.
“… You really cannot let us in?”
Nainiae had been watching Sera trying to negotiate with the guard. Having heard Sera suddenly crying, Nainiae was unable to just stand there. She stepped forward.
Blankets, clothes, and all sorts of warm things… Riley was wrapped in them all. Nainiae was carrying Riley on her back.
“Ugh, you ladies… I said you cannot go in.”
“If I said you cannot, that means you cannot go in.”
The guard looked at Nainiae who was coming toward him with frosted breaths. The guard crumpled his face as if he ran into something unpleasant.
The scars and missing fingers…
Because she was standing behind Sera all this time, the guard didn’t realize this. He now discovered her horrid face and the hand which only had three fingers. This was why.
‘Seriously, you are ugly to the extreme.’
“Ms. Sera, please step back for a bit.”Read The Lazy Swordmaster first at https://lightnovelbastion.com (If you're reading this elsewhere, then it's stolen!)
The look on Nainiae’s face looked colder than the snow storm. With that look, she faced the guard and talked to Sera.
Having heard her voice, Sera stopped crying, looked at Nainiae’s back for a moment and walked back.
“You cannot let us in no matter what?”
Having heard Nainiae’s question, the guard fixed his grip on the spear he held and answered,
“What is this? Are you trying to go at it?”
It seemed Nainiae was not concerned with what the guard had to say. Nainiae took another step toward the spear which was aimed at her and said,
“If you won’t let us in…”
As she said those words, at the same time, the spear’s tip started to melt and fall as if it was placed inside a smelting furnace and pulled out.
The tip of the spear melted down in black. The guard’s eyes shook.
“W… what the hell?”
Nainiae warned with deadly look on her face. The look could not be more fearsome.
“… I shall be demonstrating my power.”