"Well now Vandam-dono, you're gonna need some treatment. Orst-dono, this will take a bit."
"Please take your time."
"Aye! You called?"
"There's a river down the slope over there. Could you fill this water bag full with water from there."
"Loud and clear!"
"Vandam-dono, mind sitting and taking your clothes off."
Vandam's body is full of small bruises. Along with some big ones.
Nike completely wet a cloth and and washed his wounds with it. She washed the cloth dirtied by blood and dirt with the water Eda brought.
Once she was about finished cleaning the wounds, she smeared wound salve on the injuries. It's the medicine Lecan helped making.
"Man, this ointment feels nice. It's taking away the pain."
"Really now. Grandma made it, y'see."
"By grandma, you mean, Shira-dono the apothecary?"
"Man, you've got it nice Nike, you can use that person's medicine anytime you want."
"Really. Well then, this should do. Lecan."
Lecan stepped forward and held out his right palm over Vandam.
"Lecan? What are you?"
Without bothering to reply to Vandam, Lecan chanted a spell.
Several surprised voices resounded around them.
Vandam's wounds are recovering before their very eyes. Even the scars completely vanished.
"That surprised me. Oh right, you did say he had some tricks up his sleeves. Who would've thought it's a swordsman who can use <Recovery>."
Afterward, they marched on smoothly, and arrived at a village after crossing over a mountain. Originally, this is where they should have stayed last night. The party advanced on without stopping and made a camp near a river.
"The sense of security is truly different when you got lotsa lights."
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
Vandam muttered so as they were relaxing after having a meal.
"But really, Nike, your party is really something else. Nike is invincible when she wields her super long magic sword, Lecan can detect crazy far away enemies, is monstrously destructive in close quarter combat and even got <Recovery>, while Eda has her ranged attacks which have so many uses and can even use <Ignition> and <Lamplight>. I think you guys can be Special Rank if you specialize in combat, can't ya?"
"Eh? What's this Special Rank thing?"
"Haha, even <Eda of Thousand Shots> didn't know about that huh. Solo adventurers are limited to gold, silver ranks and such, but there's a different classification for a party called Special Rank. Though I've never seen one in Vouka, you'll find quests limited to Special Rank parties if you go to big cities, and with hefty sum of rewards to go along with 'em."
"Ooh, how'd you become one?"
"By having the association evaluate your achievements. Only parties with good balance and are highly trusted get designated Special Rank. There are several escort-specialized Special Rank parties in Vantaroy, our destination."
"Oh, hefty rewards is it. That's nice, pretty nice. I'm gonna aim for that."
"No well. Even though I'm the one who bring it up, isn't Lecan specialized in dungeons? Even if Special Rank parties do get sweet rewards, it just can't compare to incomes from dungeons at all."
"Eeeeeeeh? Lecan, you, what's up with that. Yer' doin' it rite'? You're gonna aim for Special Rank with me, aren'tcha."
"Now, now, hold on a bit. Lecan. Putting aside the Special Rank stuff, we really are a good party. You can even learn things that aren't easy to teach in the middle of Vouka town when you're outside for a quest. Even though you're currently still studying under grandma, us three can afford to accept quests and do some subjugations during downtimes."
"Lecan is studying? Under Shira-dono? An Apothecary?"
It was Orst who replied to Vandam.
"Vandam-san. When Shira-sama first arrived at Vouka town and started making medicines, the effectiveness of those medicines gained high reputations in a flash, great many people wished to study under her. However, Shira-sama did not pick even a single person as her apprentice. She even refused when lord-sama himself sent someone to study under her."
"I've heard about that. She was ready to leave the town if the lord kept pushing on her."
"The lord should have reconsidered how he should go about it. He sent a young talented apothecary, but it was someone who had too much pride, the very first thing he did was nitpicking on Shira-sama's recipes."
"My oh my."
"Moreover, the correspondence afterward was pretty terrible as well. The lord dispatched a messenger to apologize for him, but that messenger went on like, <His excellency the lord shall pay the apology money for the sum you wished, he shall also pay a generous sum of tuition fee for a new pupil. Be grateful.>"
"Yeah, they were pretty much picking a fight."
"Well, with episodes like such abound, she had been firmly refusing any and all application for tutelage. Also, this something that has only been known recently, apparently Shira-sama is the mentor of several of the greatest medicinal practitioners this country has."
"The news of Shira-sama taking in a pupil has been making rounds also, it's a hot topic to talk about amongst people in position."
"Sorry for interrupting, Orst-dono. But could you tell me one thing. Where did you hear the nonsense that I... Shira-baachan is a mentor of this country's great apothecaries?"
"Monk Scalabel at the royal capital heard about Shira-sama when he got his hands on her medicine, that was when he said <that person is my mentor>. It's well known in this country that Monk Scalabel, Doctor Winegem-sama, and Doctor Rokishimam-sama are apparently fellow students. As such, people interpreted that Shira-sama must be the mentor of the group."
"It's that brat's fault huh... Well, Orst-dono. I don't think that's right. Please think about it, just how old is that Scalabel guy. There's no way he's my grandma's pupil."
"Excuse me but how old is Shira-sama now?"
"Orst-dono. You should never ask a woman about her age."
"I beg your pardon."
"Anyway, that rumor is just a bother, so don't spread it any further will you please. Tell that to Chaney as well."
"Understood. However, even though I believe this rumor is presently only known to merchants and their superlative information network, I don't think there is any way to stop it from gradually spreading."
Nike sullenly fell silent.
When he saw that, Lecan thought to himself, 'Perhaps the day Shira departs from Vouka town isn't too far away'.
"Hey, hey, Lecan. C'mon, let's aim for Special Rank party."
"Read the mood, you."
Still, he's shocked at Eda's abnormal growth rate.
Could such a disastrous bow shooting skill really improve this much in such a short amount of time.
But he felt like he got after thinking it over.
Eda has always had good innate reflexes and agility to begin with.
And she must have an affinity with bow and arrows to pick them as her weapon of choice.
But the price of arrows had been hindering her growth. As she couldn't afford to purchase arrows, she couldn't have her way at practices, and when it was the time for real combat, she could only shoot sparingly in fear of losing arrows.
That was when she got her hands on <Bow of Isya>, enabling her to practice without worrying about arrow price. She's got a stupid amount of mana. She can rain down as many arrows as she wants in actual hunts and escorts.
Once everything fell into place, she saw a rapid growth.
Like a seed that had been desperately trying to sprout on withered earth, the moment it rained, its branches and leaves grew in full bloom.
Now she only needs to learn how to hide her presence and master the ability to detect things before she could earn her role in the party, though she can already take part in the meanwhile.
Right as he thought that far, Lecan noticed, amazed at himself for even thinking that, 'why should I even ponder about all this'.