Mariela entered the room with the bag that she had just bought and a tray of risotto. Sieg nervously woke up at the sound of the opening door.
He hustled to get up, his one deep-blue pupil’s gaze wandering the room.
Mariela was a little confused by his disarray as she called out to Siegmund.
His blue eye focused on Mariela.
Then, it flicked over to the steaming plate of risotto.
(He really must be….)
“You hungry? Wanna get up?”
After Mariela laid the tray on the desk, Sieg rose from bed and noticed that his important parts were not wrapped in his loincloth. The gazes of two people gathered at one point.
(I saw it.)
Mariela blushed. “W-Why don’t you use the sheet to cover up with for the time being?”
Before the Stampede, Mariela sold potions at a brothel and had seen a few naked men before, but this was her first time seeing one up close.
Mariela became an apprentice alchemist when she was just a child. She spent most of her days practicing alchemy isolated in her master’s hut in the Demon Forest. Once she had gained her independence, she had no time to simply enjoy her life. She spent everyday making potions so she would have enough money to eat. She remained living in her master’s hut and only interacted with people when she went into town to sell her potions.
Before, when she was giving Sieg treatment, the waist cloth barely managed to cover him and Mariela was unsure of where to look. Now that it’s fully exposed, Mariela wished he’d cover himself up with the sheets.
Sieg swiftly tied the sheets to his waist with an embarrassed face…
“Sit on the chair”
Was he hesitating to sit in a chair because he had always sat on the floor?
Even after sitting in a chair, he just stared at the risotto while swallowing saliva, Sieg did not dare to touch the food.
“You can eat it. Be careful though. It’s hot.”
Sieg finally listened to Mariela and reached for the spoon. He tried to grab the spoon with his right hand but soon realized that his fingers could not exert any force. He switched the spoon to his left hand and scooped up a spoonful of risotto. He brought his face close to the spoon and took a big bite.
Sieg’s blue eyes shot open after a few bites; Sieg must’ve been really hungry. He stabilized the plate with his right hand and started to eat with small bites using his left.
“Here’s some water.”
The risotto was cooked well, and the rice was soft, but he ate with gusto. Worried that he might choak, Mariela poured water into the glass on her desk.
Siegmund was eating risotto while shedding tears.
(It’s not like he bit his tongue or burned his mouth. Of course.)
Sieg ate the risotto as he licked his plate without leaving a single grain. Drinking water, his voice caught as his tears fell.
“Um, you can use this to wipe your mouth.”
Mariela took out a washcloth which she had bought and held it to her left. Receiving the new washcloth, Sieg looked at it and felt touched.
Sieg burst into tears.
(Whoa, what should I do?)
Slowly, Mariela placed her hand on Sieg’s head so that he would not be frightened by the sudden movement.
“I’m sure you were scared and I know you must be hurting, but it’s okay now. Your swelling is already going down, and tomorrow your fever will also decrease.”
Nursing Sieg like a small child, by stroking his held head, Mariela guessed it hurt all the time since the Black Wolf had bit into his limbs. No, she was sure it had been hard on him the entire time. He must’ve been terrified being trapped in that cramped and gloomy carriage while he was transported through the devil forest. Even through the labyrinth city, he must have worried that he would soon die. It would be a relief to eat a warm meal, Mariela thought.
The treatment and meals that Mariela gave to Sieg shook Sieg’s heart far more than Mariela imagined. He had not been treated as a human being for the longest time. He had been treated worse than a domestic animal, but had believed that his suffering was only deserved due to his status. Not only were the wounds on his limbs inflamed, but also his entire body was swollen, and his head throbbed from the relentless pain. His head and body weren’t able to move properly. It had been painful, and his physical strength was now completely drained. He had recognized that he had little time left to live, and he had thought that it would be unpleasant to die. He had been afraid of his approaching death.
His pain, his suffering, Mariela had quickly removed it all, rinsing his dirty wounds and giving him medicine and a warm bed. Sieg believed this may all just be a dream brought on by his fever. It was only as he took his first bite of the hot meal that he decided he wasn’t dreaming.
When was the last time Sieg had woken up to a warm meal?
Or when was he last able to sit down in a chair and enjoy a meal? He even forgot how to use a spoon.
The risotto was warm. It contained meat, vegetables, grains, and Yagu’s milk. When was the last time he was able to eat something that contained such rich ingredients?
Sieg was recalling while eating the risotto, that sitting in a chair and eating food was a natural thing for a human being.
“Why, why, why”
He slowly stopped thinking about the grudges he had against his former master and all the people that had mistreated him. He was truly thankful that such a caring person had purchased him.
He had fallen so far in life and had already begun to to believe that he wasn’t even human anymore.
However, it was also true that he had been robbed of his chance at a normal life due to circumstances out of his control.
And now, this girl, who only identified herself as Mariela gave him the warmth he had lost and treated him with dignity without asking for anything in return.
Another human, that Mariela had purchased for the low price of two silver coins, a man that smelled horribly and was disabled, this man was treated as her equal and given a proper meal.
To this pathetic man that burst into tears in front of her, she held out a brand-new washcloth.
As if he were any other human.
This girl (Mariela) could never know how much of an impact such a simple gesture could have on Sieg.
Even now, she had to pull Sieg toward her to snap him out of his confusion.
To the man that lost everything, this girl had given him new life. Siegmund pledged to protect this girl.
“Your fever still hasn’t gone down. You should go to sleep early today.”
She wiped the tears from Sieg’s face one last time before he laid down to sleep for the night.
Sieg was still holding onto the hand towel.
(There was also a girl who would never be separated from her towel in the orphanage.)
She pushed the desk closer to Sieg’s bed and added water to the jug in case he needed a drink in the middle of the night.
“I’ll be taking a bath. It may be a bit noisy, but, please, sleep well.”
Once Sieg appeared settled in bed, Mariela headed to the bathroom carrying her shoulder bag.
(It’s the first time in 200 years! A bath!)
Mariela held in her voice because Sieg was sleeping but her excitement was at its max.
(It seems that I still have plenty of mana, so today I’ll be able to make the bath extra luxurious!)
《Water》 《Drop of Life – Immobilize》 《Heating》
She added enough drops of life to the bath tub to fill it and used her life magic to heat it. In order to draw forth a drop of life, a certain amount of mana must be consumed. Usually, Mariela would not have much mana left at the end of the day and wouldn’t be capable of creating such a luxurious bath. However, for an unknown reason, her mana hasn’t decreased much today. The drop of life bath will recover her fatigue and also leave her skin feeling silky smooth.
When she removed her overcoat, the clothes she wore were tattered. Especially the seams, they were in terrible shape. More than half were frayed. Unlike her overcoat that had the ability to automatically repair itself thanks to the fiber of the Daisy, the rest of her clothing was made of ordinary cotton. It can’t be helped. Mariela considered herself lucky that they didn’t fall off while she was moving.
She took off her clothes and got in the bath. Because she was sleeping under the effects of the Magic Circle of Suspended Animation, no sweat or dirt had accumulated on her body, but there was a ton of dust. She rinsed her body with hot water many times, then thoroughly washed with soap. She made sure to pay close attention to her hair. After washing it with soap, her hair was squeaky clean, and today, it was nice and shiny due to the effects of the drop of life.
After having thoroughly washed every inch of her body, she heated the water once more and slowly sank into the tub.
(It’s been a really long day.
I met so many people.)
(That reminds me, Lynx is rude.)
She looked down to see a small chest that isn’t floating in the hot water. Even the drop of life bath can’t work miracles.It is a drop bath of the life of the trouble.
Mariela prayed to the Breast Goddess (Amber-san). Some of the older women in the brothel used to tell Mariela that massaging them would help them grow. She hoped they were right, but she had yet to see a noticeable effect.
Tomorrow, Mariela plans on cutting Sieg’s hair, buying some medicinal herbs, and will go looking around at the shops in town. She would also like to change Sieg’s clothes and buy him a pair of shoes.
She got up from the bath and changed into one of the shirts she just bought. If she can afford it, she’d also like to buy pajamas.
She dried out her hair and combed it with a brush. Lastly, she brushed her teeth before exiting the bathroom.
“Sieg, good night.”
She said this after climbing into bed.
There was no reply from Sieg as he was already asleep.
It’s nice to have someone to say good night to. With that thought in mind, Mariela went to sleep.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.