Nurturing the Hero to Avoid Death Chapter 6
Hey guys, NHAD 6 here. Wooo!
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(Next up will be Villain Days chapter 50.)
EDIT: I’ve added a little thingy at the sidebar, and sneaked it here as well. If you feel like feeding my tea addiction XD
A Rainy Day’s Event Pt. 1
Autumn touched the charming leaves of every tree, turning them shades of brown, making them tumble to the ground.
Soon it would be winter.
Stepping outside without a thick coat was just asking to catch a cold.
And the Goddess still hadn't contacted me.
Hey, did you really forget all about me?
I've got four more years until I could finally go home!
Above hung a cloudy sky and before me was a path where the leaves had fallen. Coupled with the scenery of the wintry town, and the shivering folk walking about, the whole image was pretty depressing.
The municipal school's "intermediate magic technique” (魔法術式中級) class was open to a limited amount of students. Everything there involved using magic.
That said, the elementary level alternative would take anyone, even those with poor magical ability. It was for people whose abilities, at their height, were about as good enough to light a match or purify water to drink. As simple as these acts were, they were useful for everyday life.
The gap between the intermediate and elementary classes was tremendous. Students at the intermediate level were expected to perform incredible acts, like burn large objects, raise a sudden gust of wind, and freeze things, just to name a few. It was a sudden jump to what was widely accepted as real magic.
As such, not many students made the cut. Even if you gathered all the students eligible for the class, there would only be twenty people there, with a mixture of both young and old. Of the ninety people in the first grade, a mere five were accepted into the intermediate level class.
Unfortunately, the three stooges were held back in the elementary class, and were crying all the way to the agriculture practical (農学の実地授業).
In my class of thirty people, only Alfred and I made it into the intermediate level.
According to the rumor mill, the Royal Mage Training Institute (王立魔道士育成学院) would occasionally visit that class and scout students with great magical talent.
Even if you didn't get scouted, apparently you could ask your teacher to write you a recommendation letter. Mages with high potentials were indispensable and rare. For that reason, the country was eager to gather them all.
In any case, it's like a special elite class, and only those chosen could enter the royal capital in the future.
I always sat three rows from the front in the intermediate magic technique class. The blackboard was easiest to see from here.
My goal was to study hard so that I'd be capable of setting many traps around the village. Traps for the demons that would invade in a few years. That should cut their numbers back. At least I hoped so.
Although it wouldn't hold them back for long, if we could slow them down for just one night, that would buy us enough time to seek relief from the municipal knights.
Luckily, I also knew where the largest wave of demons would come from. I'd set two to three times the amount of traps there.
However, that's if this world followed the same development as the game.
I had no choice but to gamble. Please. Let it be so.
Then I glanced behind me. Alfred's usual seat was at the back by the window. It's hidden from the teacher's view and perfect for sneaking in a nap!
Also, he's uninterested in receiving money from the nun, downright refused it, but it's such an obvious choice! Take what belongs to you, bastard! That's an important lesson you'd need from now on! You must learn this as soon as you leave the village!
But today, Alfred didn't come to class.
Although it would be troublesome, I'd give him an honest lecture about the problems with cutting.
But really, what happened?
Speaking of which, Alfred seemed a bit odd today. There were dark circles around his eyes. And he yawned a lot. Since he's usually expressionless, it's hard to read him. But he did come off as being in a bad mood.
The other day in the library, he said something about a nightmare.
A sigh escaped my lips as I recalled what else happened there.
Judging by how often I saw him at the library, he must enjoy reading books. It’s not like I wanted to see him, but I also liked reading and needed to borrow some texts.
This is just an innocent observation, but Alfred seemed to be into mystery and adventure stories jam-packed with action. And ancient history. Since we liked similar genres, naturally we bumped into each other often there.
And since for some reason he would talk to me, we'd engage in conversation.
Most of the time, I came out of my shell as we discussed the plot and contents of the books.
But I didn't like this kind of irregular contact. (俺のボロがでそうだからな！) It's weird and I'd be troubled if he became suspicious.
Because of this, I had to check if he's around and sneak into the shadows every time I wanted to go to the library, just so I could avoid being seen by him. Oh dear.
Anyway, back to the present. Even after the lesson had ended, Alfred did not show up. However, the two wealthy upperclassmen who always had a bone to pick with Alfred seemed in awfully good spirits.
Looking up, I saw that the sky was still overcast from the morning.
I boarded my family's coach. There's even a coachman. Being rich is amazing.
Apparently, Alfred and the three bullies were also riding a horse-drawn carriage.
One second it was cloudy and in another it started to shower. Furthermore, thunder rang from above. I leaned against the window, watching the gloomy scenery pass by.
Then it struck me.
Shurio, my driver, jumped out of his seat from the sound of my scream. And so did I.
"Woah, that surprised me. Young master, are you okay?"
Oh, I remembered something bad!
These days I had been so busy following Lian's routine to a T that I let slip from my head a very important event!
It didn't involve me, so I couldn't do anything even if I tried. As a result, I didn't pay much attention to it. I wasn't where it's supposed to take place either. Basically, I had no idea when the story event would happen.
But what if it occured today?
Despite his lazy attitude, Alfred's grades were at the top of the class. Not wanting to look bad in comparison, I was also motivated to perform well.
Alfred’s manners were poor and his face was expressionless by default. But if he's handsome, then apparently everything else didn't matter. Bam! (爆発しろ！)
Even I thought this way, and well, the other guys…
It’s unavoidable that Alfred attracted a lot of attention. For this reason, the upperclassmen usually find fault with him. But try as they might to strut and throw around their weight, they always get the tables turned on them. And that made them furious.
Here’s an example taken from the game’s story event, the same event that was supposed to take place soon. There was an upperclassman who was dating another upperclassman named Dil, if I remembered correctly. She grew a crush on Alfred and wanted to break up with her boyfriend. Well, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Dil, in a fit of rage, hired some shady men to attack Alfred. Alfred, who was unstable during his growing season, survived, his power running wild.
And he destroyed everything around him, leaving behind tatters and shreds.
In a pitch-black forest that no one frequented, he lay injured and unable to move.
One day passed, then another. When he could finally walk on his own, he convinced himself he was destined to always, always be alone──
But that event had nothing to do with me.
That's why, I should just ignore it, pretending I didn't know about it, and go straight home.
I wondered if he and Dil had started fighting by now.
Alfred had said before that he was in a bad shape. That recently he couldn't sleep well.
I peered out the window. The rain hit hard against the windowpane, slamming down in a diagonal path.
"Y-young master Lian?” My driver turned his head shoot me a glance, before focusing back on the road. “Excuse me but what do you have in mind?"
"Easy, easy girls. Yes?" The horses trotted more calmly at the sound of his words.
"Deviate off the road a little and head where I tell you."
I'd just take a look, see if the event was actually taking place.
I wondered how everything was playing out.
Yep. Once I confirmed the story event, then I'd head home. No doubt about it.
At the edge of the uninhabited and dark road, the forest, dim even at day, spread thickly for miles. The sound of punching and earth crackling filled the air. And then, the splintering of tree branches.
A while later, I caught the figures of two boys rushing out of the forest, their brand name clothes scorched to tatters. There were tears running down both of their faces, and they stumbled around desperately as they ran from some horrifying source.
Upon closer inspection, I saw that the two boys were upperclassmen. Dil and his friend.
I hopped off the coach without looking, sprinting to the halted carriage up ahead.
"W-what the hell was that? That guy's a m-monster!" said one of them.
"Yes, absolutely! That guy was so strange! That kind of power can't be human!"
The voices of the two boys were trembling.
Shurio turned his neck to catch them in his line of sight. "W-what happened? They were so flustered."
"Indeed. Shurio, stop the carriage."
"Easy girls, easy.”
I cracked the window open slightly, straining my ears. I could only hear the sound of thrashing rain.
There were screams mixed in with the showers.
I threw my gaze toward the direction of the noise.
From the dark forest, I could see a figure running, approaching the coach. He was bloody, right arm swinging loosely from its socket. A large man with a sturdy body. Attached to his waist, arms, and thighs were leather holsters for carrying weapons. The man appeared to be a mercenary.
Like Dil and his friend, this man a blubbering mess as well.
What was going on? Was the story event really like this?
Since I hadn't played the game in a while, the details were fuzzy to me.
Oh that's right, I failed this event once.
Yes, I messed it up one time.
Then I reset it.
But in this world, there was no reset button. None at all.
So if the story event failed──
I'm screwed. (俺は、血の気が引いた。)
"W-what is it?"
"Can you wait here for a while? I'll be back quick."
"Huh? Y-young master?"
So that I'd look as unruffled as I could, I put on my usual cocky smile.
"It'll be okay. I'm just going to take a look. Please stay on standby here, Shurio."
"I'll leave it to you." Cutting him off, I retrieved my sword from the coach, slipping it into the sheath on my waist. I hopped off.
Then I followed the path from which Dil and the others had fled, sprinting in the opposite direction.
I had to hurry.
The smell of struck iron and fire tackled my senses. My body shook.
What should I do? What if they killed Alfred?
After tearing through the trees, I came to a clearing. And I couldn't believe my eyes.
There were several trees knocked to the ground, some with bark charred the darkest of black. Not only that, the ground was peppered with scorch marks.
If it weren't raining, everything would have been lit ablaze.
There were roughly seven men littered all over the floor. All bloody and sporting burn marks.
There were knives, swords, and firearms clutched within those men's grasps, and it was clear at first glance these were Alfred's assailants.
No one was standing.
I brought a hand up to my mouth out of reflex, covering it.
The drifting rain could not wash away the thick smell of blood. And with it lingered a sense of uneasiness. A sickening feeling.
Right, Alfred's status.
Is he safe?
The rain was coming down too hard. I could barely see a thing.
Then I screamed from a particular sight.
Leaning on a tree trunk was a boy with familiar and disheveled blonde locks. Alfred.
I stood before him in a flash.
He looked like shit.
His clothes were ripped into pieces and there were several lacerations and bruises over his body. Because his was hanging his head, I couldn't see his expression.
"Alfred? Hey! Come on!"
After I called his name over and over again, his shoulder finally moved a little.
And then slowly, his face rose.
He's looking this way, but his eyes had yet to focus.
"Are you alright Alfred──woah!"
His body tilted over. I quickly moved my hands to catch him before he fell. His skin was hot to the touch.
"You're burning up! Come on, let's go to the coach. It's over there. Can you keeping going? Can you stand? Come on Alfred, stay with me."
No matter how much I talked to him he gave no response. I was just wasting my breath.
So I gave up trying to get him to answer. Either way, I didn't have much time to think. I crouched down with my back facing him, draped his hands over my shoulders. Feeling the weight of his hot body, I breathed out hard then stood, relying on the generated momentum to ease my action.
The burden was too much for me and I nearly toppled over. But I managed to get back on my feet.
However, it's heavy. It's so, so heavy.
Naturally, I was aware that an unconscious body would be hard to move around, and when I had helped bring an old man who had fallen to the hospital in the past, I had struggled then too. But this was really too much.
My back was hot from where his body met mine. This wasn't a fever to be ignored. I needed to take him to the hospital as soon as possible.
Right. I'd bring him to the old village doctor.
Although he liked to play dumb, he seemed like a decent person. The old doctor had treated everyone in the village, even severe injuries and illnesses, and he's skillful in his craft.
He had studied in the royal capital, returning to his hometown to care for the people there. Just an old doctor who loved his town.
Alright. Let's do that then.
I lifted my leg, making my way toward the coach. At the same time, Alfred's body was sliding down my back.
As soon as we broke through the thickest part of the forest, the coach straight ahead, I called out my coachman's name.
"Wah!" Shurio jumped from his seat, his face the picture of surprise.
"Y-young master Lian! You took your time! I was so, so, so worried! I was about to go look for you──oh! W-what's wrong with kid on your back?"
"Hah, it's fine, hah, just hurry and, hah, take him into the carriage!" My lungs were about to give out.
"Yes, yes, understood!" Shurio grabbed Alfred's limp body and hoisted him into the coach. Just as you'd expect from an adult man. His strength and mine were as different as day and night.
Alfred's eyes remained closed as he lay on the seats. He still gave no reply to my prodding. Wasted my breath again.
I pulled out a lap blanket and sat down next to him, wiping away the rain and sweat from his face and body.
Ah, good thing I brought a healing potion. From now on let's always keep some on hand.
Shurio returned to the driver's seat, wiping his face of rain as he turned around. "Young master, what are your plans?”
"Take me to the village doctor."
"The village doctor?"
"Yes. Go as fast as you can."
He watched me with a strange face, then nodded as he whipped the horses, bringing us out of the forest quicker.
LOL at Lian. “Just want to check if the event was happening” my ass!
Also, blue text means I’m not entirely sure what those phrases or sentences mean. If someone does, please let me know haha.
Until next time!