Lucia Searches for the Sacred Maiden’s Group
After that, we continued taking the unroadlike back roads, stopping at larger towns to gather information.
And yes, of course, we occasionally encountered monsters. But Sir Gaius had been chosen as my guard for a reason; he was powerful. Powerful enough that when I froze in fear, he could tell me, “You don’t need to do anything. If you’re scared, just close your eyes.”
His confidence began to give me confidence. After all, what was the point of me setting out on this journey if I always just cowered in the back? Sir Gaius was kind enough to tell me that I didn’t need to fight, but even if I couldn’t stand beside him, at the very least I had to make sure I wouldn’t slow him down!
Therefore, as I got used to combat with the monsters, I started casting Soap on them, trying to at least help Sir Gaius a little. Besides, I needed to properly understand what effects it had. No slacking off!
“Out of the way!” “Soap!”
The greatsword in Sir Gaius’s hands slashed down the Phaian boar in front of us. I cast Soap on the boar behind Sir Gaius, keeping it from attacking.
As we’d thought, when I cast my magic on something, they all became calm and docile, like regular animals. The rampaging Phaian boar had lost all interest in us, and was just acting like a normal pig now. Watching it lazily scratch its white fur against the branch of a tree, you would never have thought that it was a dangerous monster. That part was mystifying, no matter how many times I’d seen it.
However, Sir Gaius immediately slew the calmed boar.
I’d asked if we could simply let them go rather than killing them. But Sir Gaius reminded me that we could hardly let them go when we had no idea how long the effect of my magic would last. The damage that monsters could do to people was simply too great to risk it. Put that way, I had to agree.
“Can’t say I enjoy butchering monsters that won’t fight back, though. Feels like I’m just needlessly killing.” There was a troubled look on Sir Gaius’s face. “We should’ve had the Academy take a look at your magic’s effects before we left, little lady.”
“Would they have done that, even though I’m not a student there?” I asked.
“Given that your magic’s unique, they’d probably be delighted to take you in. What do you think, want to pay them a visit when we finish our quest and return to the castle?”
He was right. All other things aside, we had to complete the purification of the Cristallo Sacro. But, I didn’t want to go home to the Academy. I wanted to go back to my old position. I wanted to have fun working with my friends, and eating with Sir Celes on sunny days. My goal was to go back to that warm time!
“Once the Cristallo Sacro are cleansed, there won’t be as many monsters anymore, right?” I said instead. “After that, I don’t think there will be much need for my magic other than for laundry, much less bother the Academy with it.”
Sir Gaius nodded. “You have a point.” Putting his greatsword away, he pulled out a knife for dismembering the monster. We could hardly leave monster corpses lying around, so every time,
we had to dig a hole, dismember the corpses and bury them… It was a lot of work.
Digging holes was something that I could help with, so I went to fetch the portable shovel that the horse was carrying. This sort of clean-up really made me think that if we could avoid fighting the monsters, we should. The monsters wouldn’t have to die, Sir Gaius wouldn’t have to fight, and I wouldn’t have to dig holes. This was irritating.
My journey with Sir Gaius continued that way. And then…
I could hear raised voices up ahead.
“Ugh! Why won’t this come out!? Eri-kun, you’re supposed to be a mage! Do something about this! I like this dress! Ed gave it to me special for this trip… Celes, can’t you do anything about this?”
“You do realize I’m a fire mage? Do you want me to burn it to cinders?”
“I’m sorry, my lady. Monster blood does not come out… Although, I do know that the laundresses who work for the knights have a way of dealing with it. Perhaps you could set it aside for our return?”
“Then we’re going back to the castle! We’re still close enough to go back, right?” “I’m glad you’ve taken such a liking to it, Maria.”
“My apologies, Sacred Maiden, but we cannot afford any further delays. As Celestino says, it would be best for you to change for now, and set the dress aside for later.”
“Ho, looks like we’ve finally caught up!” Sir Gaius cheered behind me. We’d found the Sacred Maiden and her expedition! Oh, thank goodness!