Pitter patter, the sound of water droplets falling on to my cheeks.
Tsu…Crap, my head is still spinning. When I tried to forcefully open up my eyelids, the thing I saw in front of me was a skeleton which had already begun to rot. It seems like the years had already taken its toll on the skeleton as some of its parts had already begun to crumble.
I was supposed to be carrying Milly firmly within my arms, but right now she was nowhere to be seen. There was no one who answered my murmurs, and the vicinity remains very quiet. I suddenly remembered the figure of the black shadow that appeared before me just before I lost consciousness. Although I can’t be certain just from seeing its shadow, but that was most likely a Mist Race.
Don’t tell me she went and fought it by herself…..? My blood went cold imagining the worst possible scenario and I got off my feet at once and began searching for Milly.
「Milly! Where are you?! Milly!」
I crushed the skeleton under my foot, and called out Milly’s name, but all I got back in return was the echo of my voice. I can’t stop worrying about her…
Whenever I walked I would step on another skeleton and break it. However, there is no room for me to think about that. More importantly, there is a random building that’s blocking my view. Everywhere I looked it was dark, and the field of vision is not good either. The building was also worn-out there was also plenty of small shacks, it would seem that this area was previously the slums of the city.
As I tried to raise my voice again, I noticed a presence was coming to approach me at the front. *knack, clack* the footsteps of a person was coming closer. The other party seems to have noticed my presence and they stopped walking as well.
「Is this the important thing you are looking for?」
What stood in front of me was actually Seruberie holding on to Milly. Milly seems to be unconscious as her arms and feet were dangling and there isn’t any sign of movements.
「This girl is considerably tired. Although I have already given her some light treatment, it would be better if she could rest firmly」
Seruberie passes Milly along to me, and I hug her closely with all my might. Milly’s face was a little blue, she was sweating bullets, and even her breathing was uneven. Did she get a fever because she overworked herself? Her temperature also seems to be rising quite a bit.
「You shouldn’t bring girl’s along to play in such a dangerous place, you know?」
Seruberie was giving me an earnest look and I could do nothing to rebut such a statement. Although she always had such an energetic face, should I have treated Milly…..like a small kid that I needed to worry about?
「You should be thankful to this girl you know? Whilst you were unconscious, she was fighting all the evil spirits in order to protect you, for a long period of time」
Before I passed out, I saw the shadow of a Mist Race, it seems that Milly was the one who protected me from it. When I looked closely, I could see that Milly’s clothes were in tatters, there are a lot of places torn, I can perceive that she has been in an intense fight.
A magician usually fights something after taking their distance, so if they had to protect something whilst fighting, they would be really disadvantaged.
「Well then, allow me to take my leave. From the fact that you are here, I won’t treat you like some kind of kid, but do take care of yourself」
「Please wait! Seruberie!」
She turned around to look behind her as I called out to her.
「That is….I’m really thankful. If Seruberie didn’t come here, then perhaps both Milly and I would have already died. I really want to convey my gratitude」
「……..This is one of the lairs that I hunt in. If you were to die here, it would be troubling for me. So I only did it for myself, you don’t have to worry about it」
「…..Even so, thank you」
I bowed my head and took Seruberie’s hand to convey my appreciation, but when I did so, perhaps it was unexpected but, she seems to have a really surprised expression on her face. And then, she placed her hand on top of my head as she looked at me with really gentle eyes and said.
「……Zeph, don’t ever let go of the things that are important to you. By the time that you’ve lost them, no matter what you try to do, it will be too late by then, alright?」
*Scrub scrub*, Seruberie was patting my head a little violently. Oh yeah, if I think back, there was this one time that when I was really down in the past and she would try to comfort me like this. Having remembered such a nostalgic scene, my eyes started to become really hot.
I repressed the overflowing tears that were seemingly about to flow out as I answered Seruberie, after that she gave me a smile and flew over to teleport into the distance.
Milly who I was holding, let out a small groan. I feel like her face is becoming even paler than it was before.
「……This fever is really bad」
When I think about it, Milly who was still a child, followed my hard lifestyle every single day. Even if she were to show signs of fatigue, it wasn’t weird in the slightest….. But it seems like she was putting up a strong front to everyone.
(It will be too late after you lost the thing most important to you)
Recalling Seruberie’s words, I made an effort to embrace Milly a little more.
「For now, I need to warm up her body…..」
I broke the door of one of the buildings to collect wood, started a fire using my magic, and after taking off my coat and laying in on the ground, I tried to put Milly down, however it was useless. Milly’s face was still really pale, besides her clothes were also full of sweat. I took off all our clothes and placed them on top of her, I also increased the size of the fire, and checked to make sure no unwanted presence was approaching.
「Milly! Get a hold of yourself! Milly!」
When I held Milly hands, she responded by calling out my name whilst trembling. *clatter clatter* There was no color of blood in her complexion and her breathing was as thin as a bug. If it continues on like this then……Damn it! Although it’s a little embarrassing but, if this will save Milly’s life then I will do it! Steeling myself, I cling very closely to Milly who was lying on the floor, as I embraced her sharing as much bodily warmth as I could.
Her body was ghastly cold almost like it was a corpse, and when I grabbed on to her hand, she could only weakly return the grasp.
「…….Don’t die, Milly…..!」
And all night long I continued to cast healing as I held her in my arms.
Before I knew it, I was running out of my magic reserves and as dawn approached I started to doze off.
—The next morning
When I opened my eyes, Milly peaceful sleeping face was right in front of me so I got shocked and raised my voice. Even though she look emancipated yesterday, right now her condition has stabilized and her face had a slight tinge of red to it, she had a tranquil sleeping face.
I calmed myself down but when I remembered the fact that I was holding on to Milly’s soft hands, my heart throbbed.
Although I had the urge to wash my face and clean up, Milly would not let go of my hand, so I couldn’t really move. When I thought about it carefully, if Milly woke up and saw this situation, wouldn’t this be really bad for me? I wanted to shake off Milly hand, but if I tried to go all out and shake it with a lot of force, I was afraid that she would wake up, so I couldn’t really do that either.
「Crap…..I should at least put some clothes back on….」
Just when I was about to take my clothes which were on top of her, her eyelids started to flutter as they began to lightly open. She looked straight at me for a couple of seconds then she closed her eyes, and then after a while she opened them and looked at me again. Watching the series of events happen, my mind just completely froze and my body also tensed up. Switching her glances between my naked body and also at her own barely covered up body, her face began to redden and….she shouted…
I was trying to justify what was happening, and Milly started to hit my chest with her small hands, as she cried out saying gibberish words.
「Calm down! I’m telling you I didn’t do anything suspicious to you! Milly! O…Oi! Don’t start casting magic! Stop!」
In the end she settled down after about 30 minutes. And although she settled down, she could not look me in the eyes as she turned her gaze away every time our eyes met.
「Umm, Milly. I’ve said this many times, but….」
「…..I know. I’m not really…..angry anymore…. besides it’s just that I don’t know how to face you right now」
To be honest, I was also at a loss as to how I should act in front of Milly. Scratching my head we were both speechless, and an awkward silence filled the room.
「…..What is it?」
「That is….Can we keep this a secret from the others?」
「Ah……Of course we aren’t going to tell them you baka!」
「…..Then, I will forgive you♪」
Whilst saying such a thing, Milly turned her face only half way towards me as she laughed with a red face.