Chapter 12. Fortress Battle (7)
Chapter 12 – Fortress Battle (7)
I know what happened, no, why did it become like this?
Astraea knew, but she didn’t understand.
She stiffened while releasing a half-scream, only to cry out loud the next moment.
Her scream was not feminine at all, but she couldn’t afford to worry about that. Retreat for the time being! Right after she thought so, she pushed Eos with both of her arms and flapped her feet. As a result, a seriously painful groan, “guh,” came from Eos.
“N-no. I’m glad that you’re alright…”
Astraea calmed down upon seeing Eos holding his stomach as he eased his body up. The sight made her truly feel apologetic. At least, when she pushed him away, she somewhat help back.
“…Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
No, you absolutely are not alright. His mouth was slightly trembling, and his voice failed to feign composure. Regardless, Astraea didn’t point that out. No, pointing it out now won’t let us rewind time. Furthermore, she was confident that she would do the same thing again in that kind of situation.
Astraea decided to not notice anything. After clearing her throat, she slowly got up. However, that was when she noticed.
“Eos, your hand is injured.”
“Yeah… It’s not a big deal.”
“I didn’t ask that. Was that from the Chimera’s attack? Do you have any other injuries!?”
A Chimera’s attack could be life-threatening if care is not taken… even though she intended to tell him that! It can’t be, did he get any other injuries when I wasn’t looking?
Astraea inquired from worrying, but Eos didn’t give a clear reply. Impossible, was he really…? If that was the case, then she might need to forcibly strip off his clothes to make sure―
Eos probably felt Astraea’s unrest. His cheek twitched as he forced a clumsy smile.
“…I just got this, before the explosion. So that you wouldn’t injure your head, I reached out to protect you.”
“But, I’m really glad. I thought it looked somewhat dangerous, but the Chimera really exploded. I was surprised.”
Surprisingly, it was something she shouldn’t have heard. It was definitely something that she shouldn’t have asked about.
He not only injured himself protecting me, I even attacked him. Just what kind of hooligan am I!?
Astraea’s expression turned stiff as she reflected over her awful conduct. There were various things she wanted to avoid noticing, but it was impossible.
“…Wait a second.”
Astraea tore her cloak with her mouth and made a thin ribbon. In silence, she wrapped it around Ios’s hand.
She wanted to bandage him, however the result couldn’t be called anything but terrible. In spite of her previous blunder bandaging Eos, she hadn’t practiced since then. Such a result was natural.
Maybe, I should unwrap this? Rather, what should I do about this?
“Should I teach you how to wrap a bandage later?”
“…I-if Eos can do it, then do it yourself!”
Astraea couldn’t help but be troubled over Eos’ words. Finding herself unable to collect herself, she turned away. That’s right, just leave the person who can do this do it. At any rate, this is unnecessary of me.
Astraea’s cheeks grew hot at Eos’ words, words that didn’t say he would redo her treatment. Regardless, she desperately glossed it over.
“That Chimera, right till the end it tried taking us together with it. It was really the worst!”
Then, to keep her face from being seen, she went straight to the place where the Chimera had died. However, her legs were slightly numb. Is my body screaming out about my lack of magic? Or maybe this is a delayed effect from the Chimera’s poison? Either way, she would have to rest as soon as possible.
Nevertheless, she couldn’t leave the Chimera that Eos had defeated as it was.
Astraea picked a handful of ash from the soot burned soil. She then tapped at it until a deep red crystal the size of a thumbnail appeared.
“The Chimera’s core. It looks like a gem, right? You won’t find something this prominent except from a great demon.”
Astraea handed it to Eos.
“Since this is a magic stone, it should be a rare item worldwide.”
“…How should I use this?”
“You might think that this is a victory medal from defeating that evil thing, but this stone has a comparable amount of power. The magic stones of Chimera grant divine protection from flames. More or less, you won’t be harmed by fire if you carry it around.”
While saying so, Astraea took out a pendant from within her clothes. Unlike the Chimera’s red gem, the pendant’s was blue.
“This one isn’t from a monster, though. It was left by a witch who was once my friend.”
“…Do witches also leave magic stones?”
“Yes. This is the source of our power.”
Astraea puts the pendant away while saying those words.
“If you choose to throw it away, you should submerge it in the water for a few days. It won’t immediately disappear, but the divine protection of fire is weak against water. It will die out before long.”
“Is there a meaning for disposing of it?”
“Yes. …Depending on how you do it, it’s possible to make a synthetic beast with the Chimera’s properties. You might only see it as nothing more than an unrefined gem right now, but there are those possibilities.”
Magic stones were useful and at the same time dangerous. Astraea entrusted it to Eos because she believed that it was safe to tell him. Eos swallowed briefly, but he said, “I understand.” That was enough for Astraea.
“More than that, I already treated those two knights… Ah-ahre?”
Astraea knelt onto the ground as her words were cut mid conversation. It felt horrid. Her feet were shaking. This is bad, I completely overworked myself. There was something that was rising from her empty stomach, but the vomiting sensation didn’t stop even after she covered her mouth with her hands.
Even if she really could vomit, it might have felt a little better. However, that which was rising was her forcibly trying to stop her immortal from restoring her body. The inside of her body was rampaging.
It hurts, hurts, hurts.
Her breathing was rough, but she desperately clung to the ground to calm herself.
Astraea’s field of sight gradually turned black as Eos’s voice felt increasingly more distant.