chapter 256: the living death

“Huh…” Out of curiosity, and a touch of concern, I had kept my eyes on Scarlet after I ascended again. I knew that she would be going back to the Sky Citadel, so I was worried that a problem might pop up between her and Tsubaki. And… going by what I saw, it almost did.

What I was honestly more surprised about was how the situation resolved itself. Or more importantly, Scarlet’s hidden achievement that she brought my attention to. I had not even known that she was a demigoddess. I mean, it made sense. She was literally created from my blood, and while I was in full Keeper mode at that.

Was this going to change how I saw her..? I honestly didn’t think it would. Neither her nor I had ever really considered the other to be a part of the same family. To her, I was the Keeper, her creator. And to me, she was the first Martial Spirit.

Still, it was interesting to know that there were actually two living demigoddesses. And… just to be safe, I did do a specific search this time. There were in fact only two. And no demigods, either.

Udona, mind helping me out with something? I asked mentally, leaning back in my chair and closing my eyes.

Bit busy at the moment, Dale. She responded, her voice sounding surprisingly tired. What do you need?

Are there any places in Earth, Desbar, or Deckan in desperate need of a healer? The new energy I made is a healing type, and I want to put it to good use.

There was a brief pause in the conversation, before Udona’s voice spoke up again. I can think of a few. But they’re pretty bad. There will always be those incurable or hopeless patients. It’d be best to fast forward a few years while I keep an eye out for better ones.

I shook my head at that. No, hopeless is fine. As long as the problem isn’t a birth defect, or something like the pinnacle plague. Otherwise, I should be able to manage. Of course, I wouldn’t be going down as the Keeper. Opening my eyes, I leaned forward, typing away on the keyboard to set up my new persona.

I wanted to spend a little while down in the world this time, so I couldn’t be careless. I started by making a beastkin, a kitsune specifically. With Udona as the Goddess of Life, it’d make the most sense for a kitsune to have a special healing power. More importantly, beastkin could easily appear anywhere in the world without drawing too much attention, except perhaps for the human continent.

Just to be safe, I made a second profile for a human appearance, in case Udona sent me there at any point. It’d be easy enough to come back and switch them out any time I wanted. But, after that came the equipment.

Tubrock, don’t suppose you have any robes or anything like that made? I asked, a hint of amusement in my thoughts.

What ye think I bloody am, a seamstress!? I’m the God of the Forge! Ye canna’ make a robe in a forge! Check with the elven lass. The connection was abruptly cut after he sent that reply.

Shaking my head, I sent the same question to Ryone. Her response was more in line with my expectations. Hmm? I’ve got a few lying around. Though they’re not exactly sized for you. That can be fixed easily enough, though. Any particular function you’re looking for in one?

I’d like the color to be white or silver. As for function… if you have anything that would increase ki recovery speed, that would be perfect.

There was another pause in the conversation, no doubt while Ryone searched through her things. Well, it’s not the color you wanted, but I have tried out being a monk before. Give me about ten minutes, and I can have this remodeled for you.

I nodded, mostly to myself, before sending a message back to Udona. Preparations are just about done on my end. Do you have anywhere picked out for me?

Yeah, I found you someone. They’ve been praying to me for a week to save their dying wife. Honestly, her condition isn’t too hard to treat. But the family is a poor one, and can’t afford to get treatment from an apothecary. Should make for a good first test.

I hesitated, having had something a bit bigger in mind. Still, it would be better to take care of this first, to show Udona that the ki of beginning was strong enough to handle bigger challenges. And she was right, this was still a first test. It wouldn’t be good for anyone if I got in over my head.

I sent another message to Tubrock, asking for any equipment that he had that could speed up ki recovery as well. This time, his response was more agreeable. Well… mostly because he didn’t respond at all. A box simply appeared next to me, holding a pair of bracelets, two rings, and a necklace.

Upon inspecting them, I saw that they were something I’d never personally seen before. These five items were part of a set, like those found in video games. On their own, each one had a minor effect of increasing ki strength. However, when I identified them as a group, there was a hidden function that appeared, which increased ki recovery speed.

Wonder how he managed that. I thought inwardly, while slipping the items onto my body. Each of them included the ability to automatically resize when worn, so long as a bit of ki was injected into them, so it was only a matter of time before they were a perfect fit.

“Alright, here it is!” Ryone called out as she practically kicked the door open, startling me. She was carrying a complete outfit in her hands, holding each piece out so that they could be easily identified.

In her right hand was a silver robe, which when held up to her neck extended down to her thighs. The sleeves were long, enough that they could easily cover her arms if she was wearing the robe herself. Around the waist of the robe was a white ribbon, tied to hold it closed.

In her left hand, she held a pair of pants, baggy at the top before tightening down near the calves. Like the robe, this was silver as well. “This is my Robe of the Traveling Monk.” She said proudly, walking over towards me and handing both pieces over.

“I wore it once when I decided to give it a go living as a monk. It was brown and white back then, but color is easy enough to change. Ki recovery was always such a pain that I ended up studying the information we had access to to make this robe.”

I nodded my head, looking over the clothes for a moment. “Will this cause any problems, being worn by a kitsune?”

As soon as I asked that, Ryone flicked her wrist. A small hole was torn open near the top of the pants at the back. One strip of fabric came out to form into a strap above the hole. “Not anymore.” She said with a slight smile.

“Huh… okay.” Taking the clothes thankfully, I went ahead and began changing into them, just as I had done with the accessories that Tubrock sent previously. And unsurprisingly, Ryone did not feel the need to excuse herself from the room while I did so.

“All this preparation makes me think that you don’t plan to come back for a little while.” Ryone pointed out, moving over to sit on the bed. “Want to talk about it?”

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“Nothing really to talk about.” I said with a small shrug, slipping my arms through the sleeves of the robe before I tied it shut in front of myself. “I want to try out this new ki and train it by helping people. So, until either Leowynn wakes up or Fyor is ready, I’m going to be moving from place to place as the Traveling Saint.”

“Saint, huh?” Ryone asked with a small grin, having already known the name of the class. “Well, it’s not inaccurate. You’ll need to equip that title if you want people to take you seriously, though. The one you got when you unlocked the class.”

I nodded my head, having been planning to activate the Saint of Origin title for this. “Between this outfit and the items I got from Tubrock, I should be able to move from place to place pretty easily.”

“Not without this, you won’t.” Ryone said, snapping her fingers. A small pouch appeared in front of me, falling into my hands. I was surprised by the weight of it, and almost dropped it reflexively before stopping myself. “Your current level is two hundred and sixty-one. In order to function for a sustained period of time you will require meals. Big ones. Depending on where you go, most places have specialty restaurants designed for those with high body levels. You’ll want to find a three ring establishment to supply your meals.”

“Three ring… guessing that has something to do with the level of food prepared?” I asked, to which Ryone gave a small nod.

“Every ring represents an average of ten points in your physical stats. Right now, you’re near the upper level of the third ring. If you level up much further, you’ll need fourth ring dining. And, if you were to consider your Keeper levels… well, there aren’t any ‘eighty-eight ring’ restaurants, obviously.”

I gave a small chuckle, nodding my head. “Well, I can understand that. It’d be a bit ridiculous if there were. Anyways, thanks. This will help take care of a lot of things.” I reached down to attach the coinpurse to my waist, before standing up and stretching, making sure that the robe wouldn’t restrict my movements at all.

Ryone simply crossed her arms in front of her chest, watching me until I turned around and chose to descend to the world at the coordinates provided by Udona.

Within a small hut at the edge of town, a farmer knelt beside his wife’s bed, his face wet with tears. “Please… please save her.” He whispered again, having lost track of how many times he had prayed to Udona. The man knew that his wife only had a few days left to live, at most, and was starting to grow desperate.

On the bed in front of him lay the woman he had given his heart to. A young felyn woman with black hair, her tail wrapped gingerly around her waist. Although he knew she was awake, her eyes were closed, her body refusing to move.

Three weeks ago, his wife had begun to struggle to see properly, her eyes gradually losing their light. At first, although they were worried, there was nothing that they could do. The two of them were farmers, barely able to make enough to feed themselves. They could never afford a proper remedy from an apothecary.

They waited, hoping that her affliction would fade on its own over time. It was only later, when he noticed that she was having difficulty hearing, that he managed to identify what was wrong with her. And when he did… he felt like his entire world was falling apart.

The Living Death, Narui. A disease that acted slowly, sealing away one of the body’s senses at a time as it attacked the brain. First comes sight, shrouding their world in darkness and forcing them to rely on their hearing. Then that too was taken away, and the body could only rely on what it could feel to navigate.

However, as with the pattern of narui, the sense of touch was taken away as well. And then the sense of smell, and finally taste. Once the five senses had been deprived, next came motor control. The patient would be a prisoner in their own mind, unable to see or interact with the outside world.

Because of the terrifying nature of the disease, research into a cure began soon after its first appearance. Now, it is easy to find the cure for anyone able to pay its cost. Unfortunately, there were many poor families who could not afford the cost to gather the materials for the cure, let alone purchasing it from an apothecary.

Only allowed on

“Please… please save her…” In times like these, all that one could do was to pray.

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