Dull impacts could be heard in the distance. Those sounds, which continued endlessly since early in the morning, were apparently being overlooked by the town’s residents as something that was inevitable for the time being, but still, there was no way to change the fact that they were annoying.
As for just what was producing this noise, Renya could provide an accurate answer. And, exactly because he knew their true identity, he sighed at reality for the umpteenth time today, becoming heavy-hearted.
After the mock battle, Shion had to stay in bed for several days. As a consequence of fighting Renya with unbelievable strength for a beginner while also suddenly controlling mana, which she couldn’t even touch until then, for an extended period of time, Shion had apparently accumulated a significant amount of mental fatigue which was accompanied by an intense sleepiness which wouldn’t go away at all.
Another reason was that her body’s performance fell short, although Shion had received basic training it wasn’t nearly enough to compensate for exploiting it at the level of Renya and the katurul. In other words, her body needed several days to recover from its mostly self-damaging experience.
The first two days were terrible. It was fine when she was asleep, but during the short periods when she regained consciousness, Shion was tormented by intense headaches and muscle pains. Moreover, as a part of her muscles had torn, she continued to groan in pain while unable to move. It was a situation where an outsider would worry about whether she was being tortured.
Rona, who could use healing arts, single-mindedly nursed Shion, but she also went down on the third day after overusing her divine arts. She had used her arts power too much, which meant that, just like Shion, she became unable to move on her bed while being tormented by sleepiness and headaches.
The one who helped those two in their time of need was Emil who assiduously concocted many medicines using ingredients she had obtained from Kilie. Furthermore, after confirming that Kilie herself was a divine arts user, she was given permission to apply healing arts on Shion and Rona.
This resulted in Renya looking at Kilie, who could even manipulate divine arts despite being a peddler, with suspicion wondering just who the hell she was, and even others besides Renya started to wonder just what kind of upbringing Kilie had to have had in order to acquired so many abilities, but with Kilie’s short comment that it was all due to her being a peddler, everyone except for Renya lost interest in Kilie in such a smooth way that it was rather odd.
Now that it had come this far, even Renya started to make various guesses about Kilie’s true identity, but after trying to think about it in various ways, he eventually realized that it might not lead to worthwhile benefits even if he attempted to thoroughly investigate the truth, and thus stopped brooding over this matter altogether.
For some reason Kilie was displeased about Renya readily pulling back on the matter, but while saying that she should simply spit it out at once if there was anything she was hiding, Renya deliberately decided to not concern himself with the matter any longer.
As time passed on, Shion and Rona recovered. However, their surroundings were taken aback by the changes to their bodies.
First, Rona’s maximum amount of arts power had increased to an abnormal level. There was no difference between mana (magic power) and arts power. It’s just that mana is used for sorcery while arts power is used for divine arts, but both belonged to the same greater origin.
Certainly, it was a well-known fact that the amount of mana one possesed could increase if used continuously, and with arts power basically being the same, this rule applied to it as well, but no matter how much arts power Rona might have exhausted for Shion’s sake, the power increase should have been a small one according to common knowledge, even if Rona endlessly continued casting her heal over a period of two days.
However, anyone would hold their head in despair if an uncontrollable power, which raged throughout the room the moment Rona woke up, pulverizing the furniture, breaking the windows, and blowing away the sickroom’s walls in the end, were to be described as just abnormal. Fortunately, Rona was alone in the room when she woke up, and therefore no one got injured, but assuming this power increase wasn’t a natural phenomenon, the number of suspects could immediately be narrowed down to two.
Once Renya confronted Suspect No. 1, Emil, she denied any involvement at full throttle.
“It’s true that I do like experimenting on people, I admit. But you know, if I did something to those two, it wouldn’t be something where I wouldn’t be able to predict what you’d do to me, would it? You don’t really think I’m that big of an idiot, do you?”
That was definitely not something one could brag about, but she also didn’t make any wrong statements. Emil, who kept the fact she was a demon secret from others, had kept Renya company for a fairly long time, so she could naturally judge how far she could go before it became a fatal mistake.
“Well, that makes sense…which means…” Renya shifted his eyes to Suspect No. 2.
This side said with a broad smile while keeping her calm, not trying to make her point like Emil, and without looking away, “Even peddlers have things they can and cannot do.”
“…That doesn’t mean that cannot applies to this case, does it?”
“Now, I wonder which it might be.”
Kilie immediately struck back while keeping up her smile, but while a thin layer of sweat formed on her face, she averted her eyes slowly, very slowly, as if to escape Renya’s stare. Renya stared at her for a while, but after some time he released Kilie from his scrutinizing gaze.
Rona’s change was just an increase in her arts power, and although she was regarded by some around her as a ridiculously dangerous being, she immediately managed to control her increased power. Given that it allowed her to lead a very ordinary life afterwards, it didn’t have any disadvantages, only advantages, if one looked at the bigger picture.
Although it seemed as though her feelings have been hurt a bit by the looks from those around her, I think she should perceive it as a trifling matter seeing as the power she can use increased significantly when compared to what it was before she fainted and collapsed, shouldn’t she? Renya wondered.
Rona’s case ended with only this much, but for Shion it became even worse. First off, just like Rona, she grandly destroyed the sickroom and its furniture when she woke up. One could consider this to be because the amount of mana she possessed increased as a result of her continuously using <Roar>, but just as with Rona, the amount increased went far beyond common sense.
What was even worse was that Shion, who had been no more than a swordswoman, met unexpected difficulties when she tried to control her increased mana – unlike Rona who apparently mastered its control pretty easily since she had the foundation as a priestess to work with. This led to the damage being amplified, and Renya got stuck with paying a rather large amount of money to Baron Gordonal as reparations and repair fees for the building Shion destroyed.
The problems didn’t stop there either. Shion’s abused body even had its physical strength, in other words, its muscle mass increased and it showed a trait similar to Renya’s High Recovery. This led to many comical situations: When Shion tried to raise her body off of the bed, she jumped up due to the strength of her abdominal muscles, broke through the ceiling, and soared high up in the sky, just to drop down again and create a crater on the ground after simply bracing her legs to endure the impact. Panicking due to this event, she tried to run off to look for help, but putting too much force behind her sprint, she destroyed several buildings along the way, and unable to stop her momentum, she fell into the ocean, almost drowning in the process.
Now that it had reached such an extent, Renya started to believe that it wasn’t simply a matter of muscles either, but very likely something triggered through body strengthening by her increased mana, and became somewhat panicked due to realising this. He grabbed Shion who was nearly drowning while raising sheets of water, or rather, was grandly stirring up the sea while causing explosions and columns of water to shoot up into the sky. He soothed the rampaging Shion by hugging her, and prevented the situation from going out of control any further by calming her down.
Afterwards, Renya taught Shion how to use her strength for the whole day, and brought her up to a point where she could somehow go on with her everyday life without any impediments.
On a side note: If Renya had been unlucky, he could have been in a situation of causing the same kinds of incidents as Shion. Since he possessed abilities going beyond those of Shion, you could only call such an outcome as natural, but if you were to ask why he didn’t pull off such Shion-like comedy acts, the sole answer would be that his control over his own body is much greater than Shion’s.
Later on, those comedy-like incidents also became an issue when Shion repaired the plaza she had destroyed. In order to prepare the churned ground which had become very uneven because of Shion’s attacks, Shion took out a wooden mallet and attempted to level the ground, but as soon as her first mallet strike hit the ground, the plaza was transformed into a crater while making a thunderous roar.
Although Shion was now able to control her strength to a degree that allowed her to lead a normal everyday life, Shion unnecessarily put too much strength into her mallet strike, and the blow, which used her entire body’s strength, ended up blowing away the ground as a result. At this point, Renya could only feebly laugh at this, and after recovering Shion, who had frozen up in the pose of having swung the mallet down, he was once again forced to shoulder the reparations and repair fees for the destroyed buildings that had their walls and windows broken by the earth that had been blown away. Moreover, ocean water flooded the new crater, turning it into a situation that would now require serious repairs instead of superficial ones. Renya reluctantly provided the funds out of his own pocket, and got stuck with rebuilding the town’s plaza from scratch after Shion had delivered the finishing blow against it.
Making that much soil fly into the vicinity naturally meant that the ringleader behind it would be covered in plenty of dirt as well. Shion came to Renya’s place to apologize with a meek expression while covered in dirt and sand from the top of her head to her toes.
While wondering whether she would break out in tears if he started to laugh out loud here, Renya loosely waved his hand.
“Yeah, well…don’t worry about it. I’m not troubled with money, and even if I lose some of my funds in the Gordonal Barony, it might benefit me in the future. Besides, I have no intention of getting upset about the careless mistakes of a young chick who just discovered her abilities.”
While calming the dejected Shion, Renya carried the soil and materials, which Rona had arranged for after he asked her, over to the plaza, and rebuilt the plaza from its foundation while having the katurul hold back the ocean water after putting up a request through Kilie.
Normally this would result in even further expenses assuming that he decided to carry out this workload while employing manpower, but in addition to turning this into Shion’s skill training while at the same time having her learn to handle her strength, Rona helped Shion out, thinking that it would be a good opportunity to practice her own strengthened divine arts. Thus he killed two birds with one stone, as long as he didn’t take his own personal expenses into account.
And that’s how the plain work of carrying in the soil and hardening it by single-mindedly beating it down in order to level it before laying out a stone paving on top led to the dull impacts of the mallet striking the ground continuously resounding throughout the city from morning until evening.
While watching the work progress from a small hut that had been quickly erected close to the work site, Renya suddenly recalled the time when he came to this world. The two women, who introduced themselves as a swordswoman and priestess apprentices while being surrounded by several adventurers back then, had now reached a point where they carried out work that would usually be handled by heavy machinery in his former world.
At this point it’s not something that will ever happen, but I wonder what the adventurers of that time would think if they were to encounter the two right now, Renya sighed heavily.
“The passage of time…is unexpectedly cruel, isn’t it?”
Once Renya muttered this line while somehow unable to escape the feeling that he had pushed those two in the wrong direction, Kilie chuckled right next to him as she gazed in the same direction as Renya with vacant eyes that seemed sleepy due to boredom.