2 weeks later.
After meeting with all of the related parties and the employees, time passed in the blink of an eye, and at long last, I was ready. At anytime I could depart for the great forest without worry. But before that, I decided to go back to the place where it all began – to my house in the Forest of Gana. It was along the way, so I figured I might as well drop by. I’m about to reach one of my bigger milestones, so I wanted to go back to my roots. And besides…
“Dust has piled up, but that’s about it. Cleaner slime.” [Ryouma]
I brought out some cleaner slimes and got them to clean the place thoroughly, while I headed further in.
“It’s only been about a year, but everything already feels so nostalgic…” [Ryouma]
I found myself in the room that contained only the idols of the gods. It was once used for meditation and training. But now I’m setting up tables and chairs to welcome guests in it… I’d prepared these beforehand, so it won’t take long.
There’s still time before my appointment, so I might as well use that time to increase the idols in the room.
“I’d made these when I’d just met Gayn and the others, but now, our relationship goes much deeper, and I’ve met other gods as well.” [Ryouma]
While thinking about such things, I dug out a space from the wall and used the soil from that to create the new idols.
Tekun, Fernoberia, Kirillel, Willieris, Grimp, Sereriputa, Meltrize… And the ones that I made before, Gayn, Kufo, Rurutia. That’s 10 idols all in all. There’s still Manoairoa-sama left, but I’ve yet to meet him.
I’ve seen his idol before, but it was in his human form and obviously only meant to be a representation with little details to it. I wonder what kind of god he is. It might be a good idea to ask about him when I next go to the divine realm.
I cleaned up after finishing my work, but I still had time to spare, so I decided to prepare tea and snacks too.
Before long, my guests finally arrived. The stone slimes outside contacted me, so I went to greet the guests. When I saw the ducal couple, Sebasu-san, and the usual four guards, I was relieved.
However, there was a man and a woman accompanying them that I didn’t know of. The man seemed to be in his early thirties. He was dressed in an outfit one would associate with mages, but his hair and skin, especially, his beard, was well maintained, giving off the impression of a gentleman.
The woman was also well dressed, a beauty who conducted herself with composure. But there was a trace of fatigue on her expression that she couldn’t conceal completely, so the air about her felt somewhat tense. Lastly, there was a person dressed in maid clothes, but she didn’t feel like a maid at all. If anything, she gave off an impression closer to that of city guards.
“I’ve been waiting for you.” [Ryouma]
“Ryouma-kun, there’s no need to be so formal. These two won’t mind.” [Reinhart]
“Thank you very much. In that case, please come in.” [Ryouma]
I’ve already prepared the room, and while it’s relatively safe in this area, we’re still in a forest. There’s no reason for us to go out of our way to talk while standing outside. As soon as we entered, the four guards immediately made themselves comfortable, then I took the remaining five and brought them into the room I’ve prepared.
“Oh, my.” [Elize]
The moment we got inside, the madam let out a small voice of exclamation. The other four were similarly surprised. Reinhart-san and Sebasu-san were relatively calm, but the woman I’m meeting for the first time just stood there quietly and observed the idols that I made. The man was quiet too, but he didn’t make any efforts to conceal his surprise.
“I’m surprised to see so many idols in one room.” [Reinhart]
“I’d just increased the number other than the three gods, but… Wait a moment, didn’t I show them to you before?” [Ryouma]
“I don’t think I’ve been here before. We’d just met the last time I came, and there was no way I would explore another person’s house on my own.” [Reinhart]
Oh, right. It didn’t need to be cleaned, so I just told them back then to rest up first.
It’s only been a year, everything already feels so nostalgic. In any case, I offered them to sit. There were enough seats for everyone. The ducal couple took the seat of honor, of course, but the unfamiliar man sat beside them while Sebasu-san and the woman stood at a corner of the room and kept quiet.
“I have a lot of things I’d like to say, but let’s prioritize your checkup. Rosenberg-dono.” [Reinhart]
At Reinhart-san’s behest, the man called Rosenberg-dono spoke with composure – the sort that stemmed from years of experience – and he began to introduce himself.
I’d heard about him beforehand, but regardless, he’s the shaman under the employ of the duke and has come here to give me a medical examination. I thanked him for that, and he smiled at me and started examining me.
He started with a medical interview. It was barely different from what you’d expect from visiting the doctor. At most, he grabbed my hand not to feel my pulse but my mana. He has already been informed that my curse affects the favor ability of people toward me. He called out to the woman that was keeping quiet.
“Lady Eleonora, what is your honest impression of him?” [Rosenberg]
“My impression? Well, if I may be so blunt, I feel somewhat uncomfortable, but if you asked me why exactly, I wouldn’t be able to answer.” [Eleonora]
“Try to describe your displeasure. Is it because of him as an individual? Perhaps, it is a sort of instinctive dislike? Anything is fine, but do attempt to describe this displeasure that you feel.” [Rosenberg]
“If I had to say, then it’s definitely instinctive. Kind of like when you meet someone nice, but you can’t help but dislike them because they have bad breath or body odor.” [Eleonora]
…I have body odor? No, I get what she’s trying to say, but when she puts it that way, I can’t help but be concerned. Especially, since I’m at that age when you start worrying about smelling old.
“Don’t worry, you don’t smell bad.” [Elize]
“Thank you.” [Ryouma]
Lady Eleonora nodded too, so I was able to relax.
“…I see. Clemis-sama was right, it seems. Let’s continue.” [Rosenberg]
The next check-up involved several spells. I could feel his mana probing inside of me like search magic. I was told that I could ask questions, so I went ahead and asked.
“It’s a spell that utilizes the mana used for curses to react to other curses. Of course, it’s been modified so as to not harm the patient. The severity of the curse and its symptoms can be analyzed through the reaction of the curse. An accurate diagnosis, however, will require experience, but it’s not much different from search magic.” [Rosenberg]
Oh, so I was right.
After the spells, came the medicine. He took out a flask filled with transparent liquid from his bag, then he poured a small amount of that into another test tube. He asked me to add a drop of my blood into that, so I pricked my finger and did as he asked.
Red spread throughout the transparent test tube, and in the blink of an eye, the entire solution began to darken until it was completely black. Upon seeing that, his countenance turned grim.
“This appears to be a bigger problem than what I’ve been told.” [Rosenberg]