It was the morning of the day I would depart on a journey to give out the letters. Before heading to the meeting place, I went to the fruit store where Amako lived.
“I’ll get used to it eventually… So I’ll endure it for now.”
I really stood out with my pure white Rescue Squad uniform along with my large rucksack that was packed with all the necessities. However, the groaning Bluerin on my back probably stood out the most. I had fastened on a belt with Bluerin on my back while he carried the luggage. I was doing my best to carry all this but it felt very strange as I probably still wasn’t used to it. I could only smile bitterly as I stroked Bluerin’s nose and headed to the fruit store in front of me.
Amako and Salra-san came out from inside the store. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about but after Salra-san said something to Amako, she gave her a big hug. Amako opened her eyes in surprise but showed a sad expression as she realized something.
I’m sure it was hard for Amako as she considered Salra’s feelings.
Seeing the emotional parting, I did my best to not get in the way as I watched them. After they had separated, Salra-san looked towards me and gave me a profound bow.
—Please take care of this child.—
I could somewhat understand that’s what she was saying to me. I couldn’t clearly respond as I wasn’t that certain about myself but I know for sure that I had to protect Amako no matter what. Salra-san had been protecting Amako all this time. Now she was placing that responsibility on me and it was an important duty with a lot of weight. Sending the letters, the journey itself, curing Amako’s mom, and protecting Amako.
I said so in a quiet voice as to remind myself of what lies ahead. Salra-san took Amako by the hand and walked towards me. I didn’t know what to say in this situation as I looked at Amako whose eyes already seemed moist. As I was desperately thinking of what to say, Amako lightly tugged on my uniform.
“You don’t have to say it but… Thank you.”
It seemed she looked ahead a bit in the future and knew what I would say next. It was a very slight smile but I still noticed it as she looked at me.
After realizing I was being teased, I gave a sigh of relief and started walking.
“What is it this time?”
I slowed down my pace to match Amako’s as we headed for the gates. As we were walking, Amako suddenly called out to me.
“I… Do you think it would be alright for me to come back here?”
What kind of meaning did she have behind those words?
Did she not intend to come back here anymore?
Or perhaps she couldn’t come back anymore even if she wanted to.
I couldn’t help but tilt my head to the side in wonder. Amako looked down on the ground and started to mutter her next words.
“You can.. return.. here at any time. Afterall, this.. is already your home.”
“Salra-san said that to you?”
“…Yeah, but I don’t know if I can come back. It might be possible I’ll never be able to return.”
Rose did refer to Amako as the [Princess of Prophecies] at one point. Perhaps Amako’s position in her country was a lot more important than I had initially thought. Understanding that, I had lost my next words to say to the downcast Amako. I didn’t fully comprehend her situation and how large the scale of this problem was so I couldn’t provide any words of comfort.
“It’s really pathetic.”
As I mocked myself, my steps became a little faster as I could see the gate in front of me.
“Usato is going huh…”
Inside the Rescue Squad’s lodgings, Rose was inside her office as she abruptly said those words and looked outside. She was looking at the direction of where the gate was. There was no other way to enter this country except for that gate.
As for the gate itself, it would serve as a door for Usato to go into a different world.
The other countries weren’t as easy-going as Lyngle Kingdom.
There were also ferocious monsters inhabiting the lands.
There were bandits that watched the roads as well.
There were also people that bought and sold people as a business.
She had a feeling that it would one day come to this but she wasn’t worried about Usato. She trained him so that he wouldn’t be taken out by some nobodies. He would gain experience from entering this different world and although it wouldn’t be bad to see him experience all this with her own eyes—
As she touched the window with her hand, she smiled. In truth, Usato had exceeded her expectations. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Rose’s training was pushing the very limits of what a human could endure. But Usato had faced that head on with courage and did it without slacking off.
Rose’s first impression of him was a kid with a pitiable expression. Compared to the two heroes, he had nothing that would draw people towards him. In fact, he was only at Uluru’s level when he first started training.
However, Usato had magnificently adapted.
The key was his fight with that good-for-nothing snake. It was a threat that Usato had encountered while he had been living in a severe environment. Even though it would normally be a good decision to fight there, anyone else seeing Usato trying to fight the snake would probably think he was a big idiot. To begin with, it was already wrong for a healer to think about fighting.
—But that’s good.—
In the middle of Usato’s fight with the snake, Rose had said those words as she looked at his struggle against the snake. It wasn’t that it was wrong for a healer to not think of fighting.. it was wrong for anyone to not think of fighting.
—A warrior who could still fight even after using up all their magic power.
Rose was aiming for the very apex of healing magic.
Her goal of “subordinates who wouldn’t die”… Even if they were pounded, cut, pierced, smashed, or broken in two… It would be like a hero who could stand up no matter what the situation was.