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KENS Chapter 74

Chapter 74 Friend

(TL Note: Solnea=Sollunea now)

“Here, Renji-san, I’ve peeled it now.”

As I took the plate while getting up from my bed, a perfectly peeled and cut apple was kept on the said plate.

Looking towards Aya who had done the peeling, the way she was making an expression as if asking me to say how well she did it was really charming. And being aware of how bad and awkward she once was at such things back then, it made it even more charming. Well I did know that she had improved her skills a lot in the period of our journey though. But still, getting taken care of like this by her was a very fresh experience.

“Thanks.”(renji)

“You’re welcome.”

And her voice was slightly excited as well showing that the girl sitting beside my bed was in good spirits. Is it really that fun to take care of injured people eh? Muttering that to myself, I was about to pick up an apple piece when a very sharp pain ran through my right upper arm so I put down the plate on the bed and picked a piece up with my left hand instead.

It has been 3 days since we subjugated those griffins but the pain in my right arm had yet to subside. It was the same for every joint in my body as well and I needed help just to go to even the toilet.

I don’t really consider myself to have a weak constitution but I did fall from the sky and get smacked by multiple tree branches in the way. I think my current condition was unavoidable. Now if I possessed magical energy, I could use healing miracles or enhance my metabolism to increase the recovery speed but, I don’t. and Yayoi-chan wasn’t here either. In such a situation, I really can’t do anything about my injuries…….this is also one of the reasons why I end up considering myself as weak, or a burden.

“Yeah, it’s tasty.”(renji)

But not showing such thoughts on my face, I ate one of the apple pieces and gave my impression.

[………fruits are sold directly in stalls so is there won’t be much difference in taste anyway though?]

When, the medal placed near my pillow muttered that.

“Well, the centre’s been removed after all.”(renji)

“Renji-san?”(aya)

Her expression was the same but her voice seemed I octave lower than her previous energetic voice. Quickly eating the rest of the apple and evading Aya’s questioning, I turned towards Feirona and Sollunea playing chess on the table.

And behind Sollunea, Ms Francesca was standing and teaching various things to Sollunea everytime she made a move. Having Francesca stolen from her, Mururu was sitting on the window and staring outside at the streets of Merdiore with sleepy eyes. Since it’s her, I’m sure she won’t fall but I’ll be more relieved if she just sat down on a chair…….but she’ll reply back saying that she’s bored so it’s useless though.

Such a peaceful scene could be seen inside my room, that is, if there wasn’t me, lying on the bed covered in wounds. I looked almost like mummy considering that allof my body was covered in bandages.

………Mummy monsters don’t exist in this world though.

“Oi, Mururu, wanna eat an apple?”(renji)

“Un.”

As I held out the plate towards Mururu, she picked up the biggest piece and gulped it down in a single bite.

Cheeky girl. While thinking that, I looked at her with half closed eyes as she ate the apple with swollen cheeks.

“That’s bad manners, you know.”(rneji)

“It’s fine. You’re the only one looking.”(Mururu)

[That’s not really the problem here though.]

“………Ermenhilde and Aya were watching too anyway.”

When I said that, Mururu turned away to look outside the window again. The fact that her tail was swinging largely was because she was happy to have eaten the apple, or was she actually a bit embarrassed of eating with a big mouth like that I wonder?

In either case, the way she put it made it sound like she was more embarrassed of being seen by the them rather than me………there’s definitely something wrong in her as a girl, I’m sure.

“Aya, you should eat some as well.”(renji)

“Sure. Well, maybe just one.”

Saying that, she picked up one the slices she had cut herself and opened her mouth by just a third and took a small bite. When she noticed that I was looking, she hurriedly slightly averted her mouth as well. This is what a girl is meant to react like, right?

I wonder how muh time passed just like that. Their chase game must have finally ended as Sollunea and Feirona began putting away the chess pieces.

It’s been like this for the past few days.

They play chess here from early morning, and Aya or ms Francesca would look after me. Once the chess game was over, they’d head to the guild and do some jobs.

It was almost as if we were adventurers who had decided to become resident adventurers in Merdiore.

“Well then, Renji-san, we’ll be going out for a while……”

“Yeah, see you later. Don’t be reckless and hurt yourself, okay?”

“Nobody is as reckless as you are Renji.”(elf)

“Can’t refute that.”

When I shrugged my shoulders at his words, I felt a sharp pain in my right arm. How pathetic. He must have also noticed that slight disturbance in me as Feirona gave a tired sigh. Even if I know it’ll hurt, I can’t suddenly change my habitual actions, can I?

“Ermenhilde-sama, Sollunea-san, please look after Renji-sama, okay?”(fran)

“I know, Francesca.”(sol)

“……..do you guys really not trust me at all? How sad.”

[Well it’s you we’re talking about after all.]

“I guess I should be happy that so many people are worried for me eh?”(renji)

Picking up an apple, I said that as I took a bite making everyone laugh. Though I doubt menial jobs from the guild would be much trouble to me, my shoulders still feel pretty weak.

After seeing everyone off, the room became quiet. Lying on bed, I didn’t have any topic to talk about, and probably Ermenhilde didn’t have one either. And Sollunea wasn’t the type to start a conversation in the first place.

Thus, there was no other choice but to enjoy the wind blowing through the window as it made the curtains flutter. Basically, get bored.

“Are your injuries better now?”(sol)

“Yeah, no problems. I’ll be back in perfect condition in about ten days.”

Saying the same thing as yesterday, I consoled Sollunea. After I was put to bed-rest, she always asks the same question everyday. I really will heal in about ten days, but I doubt I’ll be able to move like before though. After all, laying in bed like this, doing nothing is going to put my body out of shape, I’ll need more time to get back into form.

As for the wounds, though there are medicines, but due to the restorative miracles of priests, the medical tech hasn’t advanced at all. Unlike surgeries etc in our world, they just have to put their hands above the affected part and send in magical energy which is faster and hurts way less. But in that case, someone like me who doesn’t have magical energy is unable to get that kind of healing and has no choice but to stay in bed and wait for the wounds to heal naturally.

The only effect healing miracles have on me is reducing the pain slightly, that’s all. If it was Yayoi-chan, though it’d take some time, she could heal me completely but as expected, just because I got slightly hurt, I can’t just have her come to Merdiore all the way from magic city Ofan. Aya was of the opinion that Yayoi-chan wouldn’t mind at all but I’d actually heal up normally by the time she actually reaches here……I think. I mean, it’ll take half a month just to come here from there after all. Considering there are only horses and carriages in this world as modes of transportation, it’s only normal. Man I really want a car, or at least a train. Well, considering how much pollution those cause, it’d be instantly rejected in this world. Me included.

“Sorry.”

“For what?”(sol)

“Chess, for not being able to play with you.”

When I said that, she was expressionless as usual but she did seem to look at me in a slightly curious manner.

My right shoulder didn’t move properly, and my left arm was even worse as I was unable to even lift it. My whole body was pretty much in a similar condition, internal damages, in fact, it was a pain to even have a proper meal for the past few days.

The only thing I could handle was stew, that too, only when it had been cooked till the ingredients were all liquid. It felt like I didn’t even eat anything. I can eat fruits like apples given to me like how Aya did but it’s one the very few solid eatables I can have right now.

……….I once again resolved myself to take care of my body more. Well, no one could expect that I’d end up falling from the sky, like this time after all.

“I don’t mind.”(sol)

After a while, Sollunea gave a reply. It was with her usual flat voice but the fact that she took time before replying shows that there are some kind of emotion emerging inside her that even she herself isn’t aware of.

“As long as you’re alive, we can play after you’re healed after all.”(sol)

“Well, yeah I guess.”

When I shrugged my shoulders again, I groaned from the sharp pain again.

“Renji, you’re alive…….and that’s enough.”(sol)

[Is what she says.]

“I almost really did die though.”

If Mururu had not caught me when I fell from the sky, I can’t even imagine what would have happened.

Well, at the very least I would not have been even able to talk like this I’m sure. Now whether I’d be unable to talk forever is……..anyway, in either case, I am realizing this quite late but I really did something dangerous.

This why monster subjugation is scary and dreadful. If possible I want to live without such dangers and live a relaxed life.

“But, you did not die.”(sol)

“Well, I just got lucky.”

And also,

“I promised didn’t I? I tend to keep at least my promises you know?”(renji)

[Just promises?”]

“Yup, just promises. If tried to do more, I’m sure I’d end up breaking even those promises.”

*yawn* as I yawned while saying that, I heard a sigh from Ermenhilde. To not change at all even after all that’s happened, we really are great partners. I’m not gonna say that out loud though.

If I did, she’d only scold me on various things, I’m pretty sure.

“I see.”(sol)

“Hm?”

As I chatted with Ermenhilde, Sollunea stared directly at me. She was making a face as if she had come to some kind of realization.

“What?”(renji)

“No, just, if as long as you promise, you will not ever die, right?”

“……..What’s with the sudden ominous question?”

Well, I guess it’d be too much to ask of Sollunea to not talk so straightforwardly. But it came so suddenly that even I was left unable to reply. Seeing my reaction, I could hear Ermenhilde snickering intentionally which made me uneasy.

“Well then, promise me.”

[What about?]

“That you won’t die. Renji, promise me.”(sol)

In a calm, flat and lacking any sort of emotion, voice. Yet, it felt beautiful to my ears.

Even though I should have gotten used to her voice, those words alone, more than usual——seemed to almost resound inside my head.

“There’s no need for a promise. I don’t intend to die anytime soon.”

Giving a light answer, I took a bite off the apple. Finding the taste adequate, I gulped down the rest in one bite.

While chewing down on it, I averted my thoughts from Sollunea’s promise. Even I felt that it was really unfair of me to do that. It’s especially not a way to act with someone like Sollunea who has no memories of any sort.

I wonder what she thought of me, but with her usual expressionless face, she simply continued to stare at me.

“What’s wrong? Why did you suddenly say something like that?”(renji)

“Was it really so sudden?”(sol)

[Well, it certainly was to be honest.]

There was no logical chain leading to that, I felt. Well, I guess it wasn’t too strange for her. It’s amazing how much I have gotten used to Sollunea’s weird conversations.

I wonder if she realizes that, but anyway, I could also only stare back at her.

“Even without promising anything, I’ll safely take you to Abenelm.”(renji)

“I’m not really worried about that.”(sol)

“…….Really?”

“I am well aware of your strength.”

[fumu.]

That statement only troubles me more you know? At least consider the fact that I almost died facing a griffin. Also, I don’t understand why Ermenhilde suddenly sounded so happy there. You of all people should be the most aware of how that fight with those griffins went.

I don’t even have the strength to make a retort any longer.

“Now that I think about it, you have always been saying that I won’t lose or I’d win from the time we met.”(renjI)

“Yes.”

“Why so confident? I feel weird saying this myself but I’m really not that strong you know?”

It really feels pathetic to say this about myself but I’m not sure if I’d win even against the stronger adventurers. Just getting surrounded by multiple goblins can mean death for me.

So why does she, from the moment we met——even when we were in the capital, consider me so strong? Recalling that, I became curious. It’s not like her memories returned or anything but she does seem to have some sort of basis behind it all.

“I don’t know.”(sol)

[……..after making such a bold statement, that again eh?]

“But, I know you two’s strength very well.”

Astraera said that Sollunea was a descendant of the Demon God that we had killed.

Does she have some memories from back then still inside her?……..the memory of me killing him/her.

If that’s the case, I feel like that’s not a very nice image to have of me. No one would have a very great impression of someone who killed you. Then where do her emotions or impression of me come from?

While I was thinking of such things, I heard a knock on the door.

“Hm?”

And without waiting for a reply, the door was opened.

The one who appeared was a dwarf with overbearing smile, Dagram, and a white haired, tanned skin young man, Enomiya Yuuichirou.

“……..At least wait till I answer.”(renjI)

Was there even a reason to knock the door then? Yuuichirou gave a stiff smile at that and Dagram simply laughed unabashedly.

Seriously.

[What happened? For both of you to come together?]

“Just paying a visit to an injured friend, that’s all.”

“Why thank you. I was almost going to die of boredom.”(renji)

“Even though you didn’t die even after falling from the sky with a griffin? How pathetic Renji.”(Dagram)

Saying that, he put down the bad he held on top of the table, and sat down on a chair.

As usual, this guy has nerves of steel. Well, most dwarves are like this though.

Following after him, Yuuichirou also entered a room and gave a small greeting before sitting down as well.

“What’s that?”(renji)

“Fruits. According to Yuu here, we need to bring fruits when paying a visit right?”

Hearing that I looked towards the bag on the table. Though small, Dwarves can still carry quite the amount in both their hands. Just how much fruit did this guy buy?

My stomach ached just thinking about the contents.

“Thanks, I’ll be sure to eat them later.”(renji)

“That’s right, when injured, the best thing to do is to eat a lost and sleep a lot.”

What a hot blooded theory as usual. Well, he’s not exactly incorrect either though.

“Is that so?”(sol)

“Yeah. Make sure that he eats a lot Missy.”

“Are you trying to make me fat……..”

“If you do get fat, just exercise to get back into shape. In the first place, you’re too thin. Put on some more muscle. What’s with that pitiful arm.”

As Dagram compared his own arm with mine inside his head, I pretended to not hear him and muttered a sigh.

Even I want to put on more muscle you know. That’d make my body sturdier, and stronger. Right now, I still lack endurance and am weak to continuous hits. Do you know how much I have lamented that fact?

But maybe because Dagram knows that, he brought so many fruits. When I thought of it that way, I felt a bit warm inside. But I hope he’d not teach weird things to Sollunea. She’s the type who’d do exactly what’s been told to her.

“So, Yamada-san, how is your body now?”(yuu)

“It’s as you can see.”(renji)

[For a while, he can’t move. Seriously, against a mere Griffin……..how deplorable.]

“Well, that’s about it.”

Seeing Ermenhilde reply in my stead, Yuuichirou gave a wry smile. It must towards my partner and her too lofty ideals. A ‘mere’ Griffin she says. True, as one the heroes it might be the right way to put it. Though practically non existent in Imnesia, they are all around in Elfreim and in Abenelm, they’re not more than a low level Demonic Beast.

If I struggled so much against a mere Griffin, travelling all over Abenelm would sound as a pipe dream. And that’s putting it lightly.

“You could have called me as well when going to fight it.”(yuu)

“If something happened to you, I would get scolded by Seravi-san so..”

“You really worry for the strangest things…….”

“Idiot, I wasn’t really worried or anything.”

Saying that lightly, I bit on the last piece of apple left and gulped it down.

“Even without you, we should’ve won with ease. It was a mere griffin. It’s less than a small fry compared to fighting the Demon God Nayfell one-on-one!”(renji)

[Houu.]

“Oho, talking big today eh Renji?”(dagram)

“It was super easy, I tell you. I mean, it’s a griffin, just a griffin. Once we reach Elfreim, we’ll have to face them like everyday. I went through a bit of trouble this time but that’s just because I didn’t expect to end up against a such an experienced Griffin. It’ll be much easier next time.”

I boasted. Both of them are well aware of my abilities. They also know what’d happen if I face such Griffin alone.

Yet, they said nothing. Probably because I was bluffing while sounding so confident. Even though I had zero confidence. I am scared of fighting and hate getting hurt. But still.

“………that’s why, don’t worry about me. You should just keep on happily living with Seravi-san.”

With that, I had said everything I wanted to say. He hated fighting. Even though he wished for power to fight, he still hated it, was a coward and a crybaby.

Still, he worked hard for the person he liked, lost her, yet kept on moving forward; I remember it very clearly. Even though I was unable to give him a push in the back, I was still able to fight alongside him and help him.

Why would I not want him to be happy? That little shy crybaby has finally become independent, why would I want to be a hindrance to that?

Yuuichirou looked at me with surprised. His face looked so funny that I laughed silently but the pain in my body made me stiffen up. But it was still so funny that I ended up laughing anyway.

He must have realized what I meant as Dagram also simply picked up an unpeeled apple and laughed with a wide smile. Of course, in a loud voice.

……….by the way, weren’t those apples supposed to be a gift for me?

Well, let’s just ignore that. Yeah.

[Of course, together, we can do anything.]

Her light words also felt stronger than ever. She must have realized my intention as well.

For a second, hearing us, both Dagram and Yuuichirou went silent and then began to laugh while shaking their shoulders.

That’s right. Keep laughing. That’s what makes me the happiest as well. Even if I’m injured, even if I’m scared………..

“Don’t forget to call me to the wedding okay?”(renji)

“You’re jumping way ahead now!!”(yuu)

As long as I have an objective I can work hard. With an aim, I can move forward.

That’s the kind of human I am. For someone else, I can fight. For something I can fight. And—–without those, I’d end up rotting away. That’s simply the kind of man I am.

“Sounds fun.”

Seeing us, Sollunea muttered that.

It must have been my imagination that her face looked like she was smiling slightly rather than her usual expressionless face.

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