The inn that the Black Iron Transportation Company regularly used was located not far from the slave merchant.
After travelling along the main road in the direction of the mountains, we arrived at an inn. The sign on the front read ‘Yagu’s Bridge.’
A yagu is a goat-like animal similar in size to a donkey that lives in the nearby mountain range. The yagu is an important animal to anyone who wishes to cross the mountains as the road crossing them is narrow and treacherous. It’s impossible for carriages to travel on these roads so people would often strap their cargo to dozens of yagu in order to travel to and from the city. These animals aren’t just useful for carrying
cargo either. They can survive on little food, they can be easily tamed, and they can be used for both milk and for their meat. That’s why many of these animals were kept inside the outer defensive city.
A yagu is very similar to a mountain goat. All they wish to do is climb mountains.
The way in which they would jump from one craggy cliff to another, then climb down the cliff in a haphazard and yet somehow graceful way, was well-known throughout Endalgia.
The way in which they traversed the mountaintops came to be known as a yagu’s bridge.
Yagu’s Bridge Inn was similar in design to many of the other buildings in the city. However, the main difference was the grand double doors that were left wide-open as if to invite in any nearby passerbys.
Captain Dick and Vice-Captain Marlowe got off their raptors and headed towards the entrance. Mariela and Lynx also climbed out of the carriage and followed after them. Mariela wished to have Siegmund accompany her, but he was left on the carriage to be washed so he could appear in public without drawing looks of disgust.
Inside the double doors was a large dining hall and a bar with a staircase in the back that lead up to the second floor.
Due to it only being just past noon, the inside of the inn was deserted. The only person inside was a red-haired woman that was standing behind the bar.
“Dick! You’re here early!”
The red-haired woman called out to the captain and rushed over to his side.
She was a beautiful woman with a large chest.
“Our business with that b****d was settled sooner than I expected.”
The red-haired woman puffed out her chest as Captain Dick spoke. This further emphasized her already ample bosom, and the captain seemed to enjoy the view.
“The inn isn’t nearly as busy as usual. Hurry up and take off that armour and I’ll prepare some food for you. Oh, and who’s the new girl?”
“Nice to meet you. My name is Mariela. I’d like to rent a room for two if there are any available.”
The red-haired woman shifted her gaze to Vice-Captain Marlowe.
“We met her on our trip to the city. The other person with her was actually part of our cargo before she bought him. We’ll be heading up to the second floor, I’m sure she won’t cause any problems.”
“I see. Welcome to Yagu’s Bridge Inn! My name is Amber. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me anytime.”
Amber, after listening to Marlowe’s explanation, gave Mariela a proper greeting. Mariela decided to rent the room for three nights and paid upfront. A room for two cost thirty copper coins per night and breakfast was five copper per person.
In other words, cheap. The price of a cheap room for one that a novice adventurer would stay in would cost a little more. Yagu’s Bridge is in a decent location, the building itself had been well maintained, and there was even a dining hall attached to the inn. It’s similar to an inn that the middle-class would stay in, yet the price is considerably lower.
“Eh…? …that seems too little…”
“You’re not wrong. Inns in the labyrinth city receive financial support from the government of this country. Otherwise, we’d never be able to stay open. Even though there’s a labyrinth located in the heart of the city, we’re still isolated from the rest of the country and not many adventurers are willing to travel so far just to come here. We try to keep prices as low as possible to attract as many adventurers here as we can. Even if we’re in a remote location, the labyrinth needs to be held in check.”
This explained the prices of normal products and services in the labyrinth city, but the outrageous pricing of potions still made little sense to Mariela.
For the time being, this inn will be Mariela’s home.
Mariela placed one hand on her chest.
(Amber-san’s chest is large….)
Mariela sighed knowing there was no potion to increase her own breast size.
Captain Dick and Marlowe ascended the staircase to the second floor.
Lynx took the keys to the rooms they had rented and walked outside to give them to the other members of the Black Iron Transportation Company. Mariela followed after him.
After exiting through the back door, a restroom and a small field used for washing could be seen. A bit further away from the inn a small shack for the animals and a carriage house sat in the middle of a field. The wash area primarily seemed to be used for washing clothing and there was also an area blocked off by cloth used for bathing.
“O~i, Ulrike, let’s get some food~”
When Lynx yelled, four members of the Black Iron Transportation Company exited the carriage house.
“Ulrike will come in once he’s finished taking care of the raptors.”
While taking a key from Lynx, one of the members told him this.
“That guy, he cares more about raptors than he does himself. I’ll go give him his key, you can all go
Lynx left Mariela alone as he ran towards the barn.
Mariela had begun to worry when Siegmund was nowhere to be seen. She nervously glanced around in the hopes of finding him, but it seemed that Mariela had no reason to worry. Siegmund lifted one of the cloths covering the bathing area before stepping out into the open field.
It seems that he left the bathing area in a hurry as his hair was still wet and he appeared to be shivering due to the cold. The waistcloth he wore was wet and clung to his body.
(He washed while still wearing that waistcloth….)
This made Mariela realize that she didn’t have any proper clothes for him or for herself to change in to.
The outer clothing she’s wearing was made by her using the fibers from the daisy plant. It will automatically repair itself by drawing in the magic power from the atmosphere and from the wearer. So, there’s no damage to them right now, and they’re likely to last for a while.
However, the clothing she’s wearing under that is over two hundred years old. Her pouch and shoes have large cracks forming on them and they appear as if they could fall apart at any moment.
(It’s clear that the first thing I need to do is go shopping.)
After using the life magic《Aridity》to dry off Siegmund, she told him to follow her inside and Siegmund followed after her without saying a word.
His left calf was swollen and his discolored left foot was limp as he dragged it across the ground. In a pouch attached to the right side of Mariela’s skirt, was a handful of medicinal herbs. He was refraining from moving his right arm at all and was clearly in a great amount of discomfort.
Mariela began to doubt that the basic healing herbs she had gathered would be enough to heal an injury like that. Next, was his right eye. Siegmund had been hiding it beneath his hair ever since Mariela first laid eyes on him. His skin was also pale and he took short, ragged breaths, “Haa…haa….,” as they walked through the inn.
The room on the second floor that Mariela had rented was located at the end of the hall and was quite large. After entering through the front door, Mariela could see another door that led to the bedroom. Inside, there were two beds on either side of the room and two desks with their respective chairs in between them. Near the entrance to the room, there was a sizable closet that could be used to store any luggage or armour anyone staying there may have. There was also a small bathroom at one end of the room.
(A bath! I’m so happy. I’ll have to take a nice long bath later.)
Mariela was expecting to have to wipe her body down with a wet towel, so the sight of a bathtub brought indescribable joy to her.
The room was nice considering the price, but the bedroom was damp and the smell of mold lingered in the air. The lone window in the room offered little sunlight or fresh air. The sheets appeared to be clean, but the mattresses were made of straw and there was a strong likelihood there would be insects within them.
(It’s a room that an unsanitary slave has been allowed to live in. It can’t be helped.)
Even though he just washed himself, there was a distinct smell coming from Siegmund. There was dirt, dust, and other unidentifiable things matted into his beard and hair. Mariela was thankful that he was even allowed to enter the room.
After using life magic to air out the room, Mariela closed the window. She then walked over to the door they had entered through and locked it. She closed the door to the bedroom as well in order to be sure that no one would be able to overhear their conversation. Even with the shutters on the window closed, the inside of the bedroom was well-lit by a magical power that floated in the air that offered plenty of light for Mariela to thoroughly examine Siegmund. Mariela opened her pouch and looked through the remaining herbs she had. There wasn’t much remaining, but she had enough to treat most of Siegmund’s injuries.
Even though Mariela was pointing to the chair, for some reason, Siegmund sat on the floor next to the chair. Due to the swelling of his leg, he was unable to bend it properly and was forced to leave it sticking out at an awkward angle as he got down on the ground.
All this time, he never raised his face and continued looking somewhere near Mariela’s feet.
(Why the floor…. Well, it’s fine….)
Mariela moved the chair in front of him and sat down.
“My name is Mariela. Is it alright if I call you Sieg? Though, I guess you can’t go against anything I say due to the slave contract.”
“Of course, call me whatever you wish, Master. I will never forget the gratitude I owe you for purchasing a disabled man like myself. I will never disobey any order you give me. Please, don’t hesitate to give me my orders.”
Siegmund got down on all fours and placed his forehead against the floor.
Seeing such a large man get into the dogeza position caused Mariela to lean back in her chair.
As for what he said earlier, Raymond — or maybe another slave merchant — may have scared him with the spirit magic used when forming the contract.
There were still many things Mariela didn’t understand. She was glad that she was able to find someone that couldn’t betray her and will also able to provide her with knowledge of this new world. She also knew it was useful to have someone stronger than her that can help or even defend her if needed.
However, for Sieg to be able to fill either of these roles, he needed to be healed first. And the alchemist Mariela knew that Sieg wasn’t just physically injured, but mentally as well.
“You can just call me Mariela. Raise your head and show me your face.”
Sieg raised his head with his hair still covering his eye.
Sieg had a thin face and was clearly malnourished, but, underneath that, she could tell he was handsome. His one uncovered eye was a beautiful, deep blue. If he were to shave his beard and clean up his appearance, he could be described as a kind looking middle-aged man.
When Mariela raised her hand so she could see his right eye, Sieg flinched away from her touch. Mariela recalled a child she used to know that reacted in the same way. It was a child that was eventually left to an orphanage. A child who was beaten by her parents on a daily basis. Sieg must have received regular beatings. Small scars covered the entirety of his body.
The fact that he sat on the floor without even hesitating made Mariela think about how he must’ve been treated by his former master. She could feel a sharp pain in her chest just by imagining it.
She cautiously moved her hands closer to Sieg in order to avoid frightening him. The moment she touched his face, she could feel the heat coming off of it. Just as she had suspected, he also had a fever. She brushed the hair out of his face to see three large scratches, that Mariela assumed came from a demon, cutting across the right side of his face.
The scratches were old and had already began to scab over. However, his right eye had been completely crushed by the force of the attack.
(The only way to heal this is with an elixir or a high-grade potion specifically made to heal an eye.)
Elixirs are miraculous potions. No matter how severe the injury or virulent the disease, an elixir will be able to cure it. Even a serious injury like this that has likely robbed Siegmund of the sight in his right eye, would easily be cured by an elixir. It’s the pinnacle of all alchemy.
Rare ingredients were required to make these potions and the methods used to make them were incredibly complex. Clearly, something Mariela was not capable of making.
Even in the defensive city of Mariela’s past, elixirs were treated as a legendary medicine.
There were countless alchemists, most far more skilled than Mariela, yet there were none within the city that even knew the recipe needed to make an elixir.
This type of potion wouldn’t be classified as a restoration medicine. Instead, it would be placed in its own category of ‘Specialized Potions.’ Specialized potions are made by tracing which materials have the greatest effect on specific parts of the body. Only the most skilled of alchemists were capable of making these potions.
An alchemist of Mariela’s level would never know how to make potions like these. The recipes are created by alchemists that have spent years researching the materials and will keep their recipes secret from the outside world.
In the first place, with Mariela’s alchemy skill level, she’s only capable of making the simplest of advanced potions.
(It’s impossible for me to heal his right eye….)
Next, she examined his right arm. There were bite marks all along his forearm. When she asked him about the injury, he told her that he was attacked by a Black Wolf half a month ago.
A Black Wolf, also known as a Miasma Wolf, is smaller than a Forest Wolf but has poison coating its fangs that slow down the natural healing rate of anything it bites. A single Black Wolf is relatively weak on its own, which is why they tend to attack in packs. They’ll circle their prey and rush in one after another with quick attacks. Their prey will soon succumb to the poison, making them weak enough that the Black Wolves can then enjoy their meal.
The wounds on his forearm weren’t healing and the bite marks were discoloured and still appeared fresh. Mariela assumed that he had received no treatment after being attacked by the demon. The poison from its fangs is probably still within his arm, further delaying the healing. Siegmund seemed to be unable to move his arm, but he was still able to feel his fingertips. His arm was badly hurt, but Mariela was unable to detect any nerve damage.
Lastly, his left leg. It seems that the black wolf also attacked him here. A large chunk of flesh and meat had been ripped from his calf.
It appeared that there was an attempt to cauterize the wound in order to stop the bleeding. The burns weren’t given time to properly heal and they were left exposed to the germs and unsanitary conditions of the slave transport carriage. His leg was inflamed and swollen twice its original size.
(First of all, I have to do something about this inflammation. His arm seems to be manageable with an advanced potion, but I’ll need a specialized potion to treat his leg. And that scar, it doesn’t seem to be causing him any discomfort, but it has to be painful.)
The mottled flesh left behind by the brand was also inflamed.
If she had a specialized potion, Mariela would be able to heal all of his injuries in an instant, but that’s not something she’s capable of creating. In order to treat everything with lower-class potions, she’ll have to do it in stages.