Stella didn’t respond to their inquisitive gazes and just looked at the boy as she said that.
The other maids tilted their heads.
“Huh? But if he just wanted to purify them, then he could have just used holy magic…”
“Of course that’s the easiest way, but that method ‘erases’ the souls held captive by the darkness of the forbidden. It’s merely a reproduction of the effects of the Force, so it’s not actually very good at saving souls.
That’s why he went out of his way to turn them into wraiths and direct their anger to the lich lord.
To borrow his phrase, he helped released their
The maids weren’t wholly convinced by the head maid’s conjectures, but the cheerful expression on the souls and the tranquil yet somewhat sad expression on the boy as they spoke suggested that she might have been right.
“It all makes sense if you consider that verbal smackdown as an attempt to break down that lich’s pride without him realizing it.
It’s an exhausting method, but I’m sure it’s nothing to an S Rank.
It’s a plan strangely void of that forcefulness… That efficiency unique to people with high Skill.”
Despite continuing to look at that, Stella muttered to herself and noted that oddity.
An inefficient method made possible only by the power of his high Skill.
It was somewhat of a paradox when she thought of it.
“…They seem to be bidding him goodbye.”
Regardless, as she watched the boy and the souls with curiosity, the souls began to grow faint.
Gradually, the outline of their shapes crumbled.
The afterlife was calling out to them.
Upon seeing that, the boy surprisingly bowed his head, and the souls wryly smiled back.
The big man closest to the boy ruffled up his head, while a boy who was likely the man’s son said, ‘take care,’ with an exhausted smile and waved before vanishing without a trace.
All the while, the boy saw them off intently without so much as a blink.
“Huh? Head maid?”
Evidently, the boy and that father-son pair knew each other.
Meanwhile, the head maid started for the direction of the boy.
The boy must have noticed her because he glanced at her direction, and───
—Skillfully held up the princess by her head so that it didn’t hurt her neck, then just when the people around were thinking that he wouldn’t dare to, threw the princess.
“…Welcome back, Lilisha-sama… It’s good to see that you’re safe and sane.”
The head maid ignored the princess’ cries as she received her in a way that didn’t hurt her.
The princess being able to scream spoke volumes of her condition.
Evidently, she’d recovered at some point in time.
The princess also realized who it was that received her and immediately grabbed Stella.
“S-Stella!? Are you alright!? What happened to your wounds!?”
“As you can see, I am perfectly fine. A certain someone prioritized my healing.”
Stella remained expressionless as she answered the princess’ queries, while the boy sighed.
Stella sounded troubled, but the princess was more concerned about what she said.
“Your recovery was prioritized?”
Stella put down the princess and glanced at the boy, then without saying a word, politely bowed down in a display of gratitude.
But the boy just stood there looking awkwardly troubled.
“Huh? Don’t tell me…”
Though Lilisha found it hard to believe, she quickly realized who it was and when he healed her.
“Ah, it must’ve been that time! But why…?”
Flashing through her mind was that moment when the boy touched Stella last.
He looked like he was examining her when he touched her blood-stained arm then.
But even if that was the case, why?
“Do you mind?”
But neither the assailant nor the victim responded to the princess, and Stella just stepped forward and asked that.
“I would like to treat everyone. Do you mind?”
“…So that’s how you’re approaching this.”
A question made with that ever expressionless face and that ever dispassionate voice.
Though these were the two people that understood the situation, their relationship was still that of an assailant and a victim.
Yet that was the sort of question that the victim asked.
But of course, in Stella’s case, she knew that they were the ones at fault here, and though her consciousness then was hazy, she still heard that the boy had a Skill of S Rank, so she chose a prudent approach.
However, everyone else other than her was surprised and made a complicated expression.
“Thank you very much.”
Stella said with captivating courtesy.
Then as though that was a signal of sort, a magic formation spread on the ground.
In the next moment, healing magic poured out of it and into the injured, closing their wounds, restoring their broken bones, and easing the pain. The speed and precision of that spell was magnificent even for someone from a great magic kingdom.
Healing magic was a kind of magic that fell somewhere between attribute magic and ritual magic, and usually required advance preparation and chanting.
That’s why the act of ‘healing a wound in a short time’ was not an easy thing to do even in a world with the power of magic.
Despite that, everyone was healed in the blink of an eye and could move again. That was not just because she was so skilled that she didn’t need the usual prerequisites, but she also had sufficient knowledge on the human body, leaving even the boy impressed.
“───Heh, that’s pretty amazing. To think you’d be able to cast an area heal in that instant. Moreover, you didn’t even chant and just used one action, and on top of that, intentionally left the scratches.
As expected of Head Maid Stella, who is said to excel in housework and combat, you’re even better than the rumors.”
And then, with a sparkle in his somewhat dejected eyes, he praised Stella without hesitation. However, from the point of view of the person who had been praised, it was hard to nod.
His assessment was correct. The spell she used healed the wounds of all the targets within an area, but the bigger the area, the more targets there were, and the more difficult the wounds were, the harder it was to use.
Moreover, to even leave behind the small wounds to heal naturally on top of that was a feat that was difficult even for her master, who was said to be the best magician in the world.
However, such words came from the opponent who defeated her as though she were a child.
Of course, that was understandable because he had an S Rank in Skill, but it was precisely because of that that she found it hard to take his praise at face value.
But she couldn’t say tell that to him either.
This was her first time meeting someone with an S Rank in Skill.
As much as possible, she wanted to avoid saying anything unnecessary that might rub him the wrong way.
Though if she were to trust the expression he was making, it indeed seemed that he admired her, but it was strange how he could think that when he was so strong.
──Later, she would find out that he simply never took himself into account unless he tried to, and that he genuinely admired talented people that honed their abilities.
She would also later find out how he became like that and start speaking with him frankly, but that’s a story for another time──
“It’s an honor to receive your praise.”