Romelia Senki Volume 1 Chapter 2 part 11

 
Miredo was the largest commercial city in the Cashew region. Though Cashew was a borderland, this city was exceptionally developed. I walked the streets unassumingly dressed in plain clothes without escort. The basket I carried was loaded with high proof liquor, medicinal salve refined from herbs, sewing needles and large amounts of cloth.
 
After the fierce battle with the Demon Army scout troops, we had finally reached the city of Miredo. Everyone was covered in wounds and the soldiers were now recovering. My chest injury had just been treated by a healer yesterday.
 
The healer had instructed me to rest absolutely still before taking his leave, but with just a few broken ribs, I couldn’t remain abed.
 
I headed to the inn rented for the soldiers carrying my purchases.
 
In the large room able to easily fit twenty, soldiers with bandages wrapped around them lay in beds while some sat leisurely chatting in chairs.
 
“Everyone, how are your injuries?”
 
I entered the room carrying my basket and asked about their conditions.
 
“Lady Romelia?”
 
One of the soldiers stood, quite surprised. I believe his name was Bray.
 
“Did you go out shopping? You need only say the word and we would have…”
 
Bray began to stand but, as an injured man suddenly rising, he was unsteady on his feet.
 
“Please, I’m fine like this. Al, Ray, how are your wounds?”
 
I went to Al and Ray’s beds, the two most gravely injured. For them to still live was unbelievable.
 
“I’m alright, Lady Romelia. The healer treated me yesterday and my wounds are recovering.”
 
Though Ray only moved his mouth to speak, he was seriously injured unable to even rise. His complexion was also poor, looking utterly unlike someone fine. I didn’t want to badmouth the healer, but honestly, his skills were lacking. He had been paid a small fortune yet my chest still hurt and everyone’s condition seemed inadequate.
 
If it had been Elizabeth I once traveled with, wounds like these would have been healed in minutes. Of course, comparing to her known as the Saint was perhaps unfair, but that healer’s technique was decidedly subpar.
 
“Let me see the injury, I’ll examine it.”
 
I removed Ray’s clothes as he lay in bed, about to undo the bandages, but he faltered.
 
“L-Lady Romelia will look?”
 
“You know I can treat wounds, right? I don’t trust what that healer said.”
 
I stripped him, removing the bandages, exposing Ray’s skin. For some reason, Ray turned his face away. He probably didn’t want to see the injury. It was severe despite being treated.
 
The large gashes were barely closed while the small ones weren’t fully sealed. And a few had become septic.
 
“Ah…nn.”
 
I placed my fingers on the wound. It must have hurt badly as Ray let out a sound.
 
“Sorry, did that hurt?”
 
“No, I’m fine.”
 
Though Ray said that, it had likely pained him. He was making faint noises whenever I touched the wounds or his body.
 
“There’s an issue with this injury, it needs minor surgery. I’ll take care of it.”
 
Even small wounds posed risk of deterioration, septic ones especially so. I should wash them with strong spirits, drain the pus by running a heated blade over them, apply medicinal salve, then suture them shut.
 
“Captain Romelia, you can even do that?”
 
Lying in the bed beside Ray’s, Al glanced this way, only moving his eyes. I was bothered by the “Captain Romelia” address but let it go since he didn’t seem to mean it mockingly.
 
“Yes, I learned before. Ray, this will likely hurt, please bear with it.”
 
I began treating Ray’s wounds. Though it must have been painful, Ray endured. But it probably did still hurt. He would let out faint moans whenever I touched the injuries or his body.
 
“Alright, you’re next Al.”
 
After finishing Ray’s treatment, I looked to Al lying beside him.
 
“Me too?”
 
“Your wounds are more severe, right?”
 
Answering Al’s question, I stripped him and removed the bandages. Checking the injury, his was more serious.
 
“This will hurt a lot, please bear with it.”
 
No sooner had I finished speaking than a shriek resounded in the room.
 
“It hurts, it hurts! That’s really painful! Be more gentle!”
 
Though Al accused me with tearful eyes, I could only stare blankly.
 
“What are you saying? You saw Ray, didn’t you? He endured it, right? Do the same.”
 
“No, that’s not it. That guy was really enjoying it.”
 
Al said something absurd. Who would be happy about having their wounds touched?
 
“Please be quiet. Your injury is deep, I have to be careful or it’ll hurt to the bone.”
 
Though I had warned him beforehand, Al let out dramatic screams of agony.
 
Once I finished treating everyone, it had indeed taken considerable time and night had fallen. But the soldiers seemed satisfied at receiving care. I should come check their progress tomorrow as well.
“Even though we agreed beforehand, Al exaggeratedly let out a scream.”
 
After the treatment, Al and Ray both looked inexplicably worn out. Even so, the two most seriously injured individuals didn’t deteriorate much, while the others seemed to be fine.
 
“Captain Romelia, you examined only those two. Aren’t the rest of us important too? This isn’t fair.”
 
Facing me, who had just finished treating Al and Ray, Shura, one of the soldiers, pouted.
 
“You guys are shameless!”
 
Ray shouted, and Shura retorted.
 
“We’re also part of Team Rome, you know.”
 
Although the term “Team Rome” caught my attention, the injuries of the other members were indeed a cause for concern. The healing practitioner’s skills weren’t the best, and it would be troublesome if the injuries worsened and the healing process was delayed. Since there was time now, I’d feel better if I inspected them myself.
 
“Understood, I’ll take a look.”
 
“Really?”

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Upon hearing my words, not just Shura but also the other soldiers showed relieved expressions. It seemed everyone was concerned about the healing practitioner’s lack of skill. I began to examine the soldiers, and they took off their shirts, lining up their upper bodies. The longer the line, the more anxious they became.
 
“Darn it, you guys!”
 
Ray, perhaps not wanting to inconvenience me, looked at his lined-up comrades and furrowed his brows.
 
“It’s okay, Ray. Besides, I have the time.”
 
As I said this, I examined the soldiers’ wounds and applied treatment.
 
After treating all twenty of them, it indeed took quite some time, and the sky had darkened. However, the soldiers seemed satisfied with receiving treatment. To see their progress, I planned to come back again tomorrow.
 
But we couldn’t keep doing this. We should arrange for a proper healer as soon as possible.
 
“I’m sorry, Captain Romelia. We’ve caused you trouble. Moreover, it’s because of our relationship that you’re stuck here unable to move.”
 
Al apologized seriously. What happened to his loose lips? It was astonishing. Maybe the bitter medicinal herbs I deceived him into eating on the mountain took effect.
 
“Don’t worry about it. Focus on recovering.”
 
I looked at them as I spoke.
 
“Because you are Cashew’s heroes.”
 
Al and Ray stared at me wide-eyed.
 
“Us? Heroes?”
 
Al pointed at himself in askance.
 
“That’s right. Word has spread all over town. Rather, I’m the one who spread the rumor. Of the young heroes who defeated the Demon Army forces invading Cashew. You can say these wounds are marks of glory.”
 
I confessed my fabricated gossip to Al and he laughed.
 
“An invasion, huh. You really shape the narrative however you want.”
 
As Al said, while we couldn’t admit it was just five invaders, that we soldiers had desperately struggled to defeat them was fact. To promote our activities, such things had to be exploited.
 
For Cashew, which hadn’t suffered major wartime calamity so far, the Demon Army’s arrival was shocking to the populace, but the fact of youngsters defeating the Demon Army could be called welcome news. In a few days, the rumors would spread, possibly even reaching Karulus Fortress.
 
“Ah, it’s best not to go out while injured, yeah?”
 
Maybe wanting to play outside with heavy injuries, Al grumbled.
 
“Why? You’d surely be popular with the young ladies. Just bring up battling the Demon Army at a bar.”
 
“Don’t joke! There’s no way I could tell people it took twenty of us desperately struggling to defeat just five!”
 
I teased him and Al retorted angrily. When he could just make up a lie, I was surprised he was being honest.
 
“Hurry back to Karulus Fortress, Lady Romelia.”
 
Ray also seemed eager to return quickly, but it wasn’t time yet.
 
“Please focus on recovering. Also, I have a meeting arranged with someone in Miredo. Even if you weren’t injured, we wouldn’t depart until after that.”
 
I revealed the original purpose of coming to this city. Staying here had been planned from the start.
 
“Al, Ray, I want to ask you both something. What do you think about Governor Zelbeck ruling over Cashew?”
 
I inquired about the governor administering Cashew and they both tilted their heads.
 
“Well, we never had a chance to chat with him after getting conscripted.”
 
Al answered they didn’t really have an opinion. Ray nodded in agreement.
 
Al and Ray. And the twenty here were all newly conscripted recruits. They hadn’t been tainted by Governor Zelbeck yet.
 
“Then, would you rather follow me than him?”
 
I looked into their eyes as I asked. The official I awaited here was one sent from the royal capital. While I had promised Zelbeck I wouldn’t report his corruption, that was a deception.
 
I would meet with the official here and reveal everything. I planned to proceed to Karulus Fortress just like this and arrest Governor Zelbeck there.
 
He was dangerous, untrustworthy. He had likely already dispatched agents to the territorial capital of Gram, searching everywhere for the original record of his misdeeds I had hidden away. It was best to betray before being betrayed.
 
“Lady Romelia, even if you made the whole world your enemy, I would remain by your side.”
 
Ray placed his right hand on his chest, vowing like an exaggerated knight.
 
“Captain Romelia, I’ll follow you too.”
 
Contrasting Ray’s manner, Al responded lightly.
 
“Thank you.”
 
I briefly answered both their declarations of loyalty.


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