Elemia wasn’t acknowledged as the huntress who had killed one of the Six Calamities. Or to be precise, the third of the Six Calamities, the Undead Dragon, wasn’t recognized as having been subjugated.
After having been turned into small pieces, the brains of the scattered dragon still didn’t cease their function. Under careful supervision by the guild, the pieces of the brains were apparently sealed away in airtight, thick jars and sent to various research facilities. According to rumors, one of them has found its way into the margrave’s collector room…
“Unable to come to terms with that ruling, Elemia handed a note of protest to the guild.”
“Hehe, it’s great to be spunky, but she lacks the ability in the first place.”
We’re in a special room of the royal hospital arranged for by the margrave. Shea is currently listening to my recount after having sat up on the bed.
She’s already been tied to the bed for ten days, and yet her merciless and blunt way of speaking her mind hasn’t changed a bit, but her body, which has clearly lost some weight, gives me the impression of her being a frail noble lady rather than a huntress who killed Black Dog.
When I voice out my thoughts, she snarls, “Who’s a frail, noble lady!? It just give you such an impression because of these frilly curtains, no? How irritating.”
Shea pulls the pure white curtain with its fine lacework, which has been fluttering in the wind, somewhat roughly over to the side of the window, allowing the wind to blow into the room, and thus making her silver hair flutter instead.
“How about we talk about <Corpse Eater> for a bit rather than the curtain? It’s scary as it seems to slow down the healing of your wounds.” I cast a glance at <Corpse Eater> which is leaning against her bed.
<Corpse Eater> has returned to its familiar big machete form, and the fang of Black Dog, which the sword spat out after going berserk, is currently laying on a nearby shelf.
“It’s okay. Yughul keep their cursed tools close to themselves when they’re in a bad condition. It’s said that this strengthens the resistance against curses.”
“Rather than that…sorry about the matter with the mithril. If I had known, I wouldn’t have…” Shea’s face is filled with bitterness.
“Ah, don’t mind it. After having heard the circumstances, the margrave said that he’s going to look for new mithril for me.” I make an effort to put up a cheerful expression.
It’d only trouble me if I worsened her recovery by making Shea worry on her sickbed.
“But, the weapon you planned to present for the king’s birthday wasn’t in time, right?”
“He’s going to have another birthday next year anyway.”
“The king might pass away while you’re idling around.”
“Don’t say such disturbing things…”
Her appearance has become somewhat thin and even frail, but her character is the same as usual.
“…Anyway, we were saved. Me and <Corpse Eater>.”
For a moment <Corpse Eater> had been in pieces, but after grappling with it for three days in the smithy, I was able to somehow rebuild it into its previous shape.
“But, the villagers were saved by you, Shea. Oh right, I hear the child that was born back then has been named Shea.”
“No way! For them to use my name…! Wouldn’t it have been fine to go with Teo?” Shea’s face betrays her feeling troubled.
Even though she’s fine with being feared as usual, it appears she’s not used to being respected or idolized.
“It was a girl. It’s been the parents’ wish, so it’s fine, isn’t it? Not like you lose anything from it.”
“Well, yeah…I can’t help it now that she’s been named like that. Though it’d be great if she grows up healthy and sturdy.”
Shea still seems to be in a somewhat bad mood.
“Shea, you’re the one who has to watch out to get healthy rather than the baby… Anyway, I’m happy to see that your condition has improved. Well then, I’ll come back later.”
Additionally telling her that long sick visits are forbidden, I try to leave the sickroom, but──
“I told you before that there’s something I must defeat, didn’t I?”
“Yes, you mentioned it.”
“I’ll tell you its name.”
“You sure? Back then you told me that yughul only tell their family about pledges of certain death…”
“That’s why it means I’m going to treat you like family. Be happy.”
“U-Umm…by the way, in regards to relationships…is it that? …I mean treating me as a man.”
“Are you an idiot? As if I’d have something like that in mind.”
“Eh? But…to become family later on…”
“Shut it. I want to talk about something serious with you.” Shea glares at me.
I had been relatively serious as well, though…
“Okay, then let me tell you.” She gently touches <Corpse Eater>.
Currently <Corpse Eater> has run out of curses. Nevertheless, a faint curse sensation should still be transmitted into Shea’s body. Her expression reverts from that of a gentle girl to that of a warrior.
“The opponent I vowed to kill is Messol, one of the Six Calamities in the borderlands. In the past it’s been my grandfather.”
She told me the name of her target with a voice sounding rather flat but clear as a bell.
But…one of the Six Calamities has been her grandfather in the past? What does that mean? I don’t really understand.
“My grandfather stopped being a hume. Thanks to his cursed weapon.”
“Stopped…being a hume?”
“My grandfather was the strongest cursed tool user in the history of the yughul. He always desired strong cursed tools, and he kept delving into the secrets of curses. Eventually he became enthralled by the abyss of curses ── and stopped being a hume. He offered our entire clan except for me as sacrifices.”
“No way, something like that…”
As cortege blacksmith I’ve heard several legends about holy and evil swords. However, I’ve never heard of such a detestable story. Stopping to be a hume by turning yourself into a demonic beast is actually possible──?
“It’s possible in the world of cursed tools.” With just those words, Shea tries to lift up <Corpse Eater>, but her face immediately screws up, and she lets go of it because her broken ribs hurt.
“Don’t strain yourself. It’s okay, I believe you.”
It’s unbelievable for me as a cortege blacksmith, but not so as a field smith. It’s because my partner, the last yughul and Black Dog Hunter Shea, never lies to me.
“I’m done. I’ll go to sleep now.” Shea declares and lets her upper body flop back down on the bed.
“…Okay. I’ll be back later.”
Despite feeling a tinge of worry, I decide to leave the sickroom. Just when I’ve placed my hand on the door knob of the luxurious door, “Teo, wait.”
Trying to get up again, pain distorts her face while she continues speaking.
“I’m really sorry about the mithril. But, I’m happy that I’ll be able to spend some more time together with you.”
And then she showed me a truly rare, kind and warm smile──
“I’ll rely on you on the battlefield again, partner.”
After looking at that face for a little while, I nod with a smile, “The same to you. But, I think it’d be a great help if it’d be a slightly more relaxed battlefield. I’d even welcome slime cleaning.” After answering this with an awkward, casual tone, I turn around and leave the room.
While being surprised at myself deep down for having somehow enjoyed being on such an extremely dangerous battlefield.
A strong wind blew into the room through the window. A crisp, dry, and hot wind.
Summer is coming to the Wildinne Region.