I was released from the clinic almost as soon as the rest of my party arrived… Well, it would be more accurate to say that I was kicked out. Apparently, we were making a bit of a disturbance. I was met with quite the surprise as we exited the building, however.
“It’s dark already? Did I sleep all day?” I ask as I stare up into the night sky
I had planned to spend most of this evening resting for the big fight tomorrow, but I had hoped I could at least go speak with that boy from the mages college to see if he could give me some insight on that black lightning skill. I’ve never had a skill suddenly change like that while I was using it. Even when I’m using chantless casting I still have to think of the incantation to use a spell, so how could a spell different from what I original cast come out like that? It might be risky to ask about it, but it would be even riskier to not understand it and have it happen again.
“What, no, you’ve been out cold for three days princess.” Kera snarkily responds
“THREE DAYS?! What about the tournament? Wait… what about the expedition?!” I find myself yelling out in response
“Sorry to tell you, but you missed that expedition. They headed out already. I managed to get the king to postpone the final match until you woke up though.” Juire answered
The look on his face as he talks about the tournament speaks to how annoying the king must have been to deal with.
So that means the expedition party will clash with my wisp without me there to run interference. In that case, things are going to get a bit annoying from here. The way I see it there are only two real possible ways this could go, and they are both bad. If they end up finding some method to kill it, then I will lose a significant portion of my power. On the other hand, if they don’t then it will be deemed an even greater threat and become even harder to retrieve without drawing attention.
I wonder if the undead horde could take out the expedition party? It would save me some trouble if they didn’t manage to report back any new information about the wisp.
At the very least I need to do something about the wisp before the Yuusha is sent to take care of it. Thankfully he isn’t any more able to go after it right now than I am. It would be an entirely new level of bad if I not only lost that power, but he was to gain it in turn.
“Hey, princess? Before you get too lost in your own little world there, there is something else you should probably know.” Kera chimes in, rudely waving a hand in front of my face as she does
“And what would that be?” I ask trying to restrain the urge to hit her
I feel like I’m starting to give her brain damage, it would certainly explain why she never seems to learn her lesson.
“Well, as soon as she woke up she has been hovering around you,” Kera says as she points at the corner of a building a few streets back
When I squint my eyes through the darkness I am able to see a familiar, and now far more frightful face.
“Afeuro?! Why in the world would she be following us?!” I ask loudly in surprise
I sincerely hope she doesn’t want a rematch. I doubt there is anything that could convince me to go against that little terror again
“Your guess is as good as mine. We’ve tried asking her, but she won’t speak a word to us. Honestly, I was kind of hoping you would know, she kind of gives me the creeps.” Kera says as she looks at Afeuro and shivers
I suppose I should go and figure this out.
I ask everybody to go on ahead so I can speak privately with her. Tea and Mana both looked angry at me, and I can understand why since it was my fight with her that put me in that state, to begin with. After assuring them for a while that I would be fine however they conceded.
Seeing us pointing in her direction, and the others separating from me, Afeuro seemed to gather what was going on and came out of her hiding spot to approach me. I gathered myself as I walk towards her in turn, but little could prepare me for what I saw when I drew near.
Her face was covered in symmetrical tree-like patterns from the lightning. Hand shaped burns covered her skin, creeping out from nearly every place skin was visible. Worse of all, however, was her own hands, which were so badly burnt that they were difficult to look at.
In one fell swoop, I was no longer scared of this little girl but rather terrified at myself. These were wounds that I had inflicted. The part that terrifies me most of all, however, is that I felt no remorse for doing it. I watched as these wounds etched themselves into Afeuro, and I thought nothing of them at the time.
Silently I cast restore on her, trying desperately to remove the evidence in front of me, but while a pale light covers her body none of the wounds fade.
My eyes grow wide and I begin to panic.
Why isn’t it working?! Restore has always worked in the past! The only other time was with Gero’s gem… but I’m stronger now! Burns should be no problem for me!
I begin pumping more and more mana into the spell, and while the light grows brighter, Afeuro remains unchanged. Angry and in a panic I pump in even more, forgetting about the limits that had threatened my life so little time ago, and yet still no change.
Why?! Why isn’t it working?! Maybe if I go to the mages college they can give me a better spell to use… or maybe I could create a monster that spe-
“Thank you!” Afeuro says with the smile of a delighted young girl
I’m left stunned as I try to comprehend her statement, and my spell fades away. Why would she be thanking me, why wouldn’t she be scorning me for the damage I’ve done, or for beating her in the tournament? I can’t even heal her wounds…
“I’ve never… lost before. It was so much… fun!” She continues punctuating her statement by slamming into me with a hug