I ended up running away.
The training was harsh.
I didn’t want to fight Mina.
I didn’t want to waste any more time and effort in something pointless.
I didn’t want to look like a fool.
I had a lot of reasons… No, I had a lot of excuses.
Either way, it only made me realize once again how pathetic and weak my own existence was. My fate might have already been set in stone when I discovered I had healing magic. It was also possible that I was fated to live a miserable life the moment I was born.
I was sitting in a back alleyway devoid of people.
This was a convenient place for me since non-humans didn’t pass through here. As I stared at the ground, I felt a sense of helplessness tormenting my body.
Around the time Mina and her group started to bully me, I found this place and would always escape here. No one else came here. No one would talk to me anyways.. so this was my own secret hiding spot. Even if someone discovered this alley, there was nothing special about it so they would easily forget about it. I felt truly at peace here.
I was crying here like usual.
Without the need to worry about feeling any sense of shame or stares from others, I cried.
I always cried here when I got bullied but I was crying for a different reason today.
“I’m.. Sorry… I’m… Sor…ry…”
I ran away.
I ran away from Usato… No, I ran away from Mina.
Just from seeing the look on Mina’s face yesterday, and how she was laughing and looking down at me… I couldn’t help but feel a real sense of fear. It was pathetic of me but I understood something from that. Mina could only make an expression like that due to the confidence she obtained from abusing me for all these years… She was insane.
My body trembled. Whether I wanted it or not, the faint hope that I had for victory disappeared just like that.
I thought I had matured a little. Even though I had a burdensome healing magic attached to me and my life was messed up, I thought I would grow. Then, I would become as strong as Usato one day…..
With those thoughts alone, I was somehow able to stick with the training.
Even when I felt like I would faint, I gritted my teeth and held my ground.
When a Blue Grizzly chased after me, I desperately ran, fearing that it would take my life.
Usato-san would never shout at me harshly so I would frantically try my best to be recognized.
But the moment I faced Mina’s pure malice, my thoughts cooled down instantly.
It was called training but all I did was run.
What was the point of training my legs?
Why did I have to use healing magic as I ran?
Was there a reason I had to experience something so painful? Aren’t there other ways to win?
Stop it. This is wrong.
I’m just making up convenient excuses.
There was definitely a good reason for Usato-san’s training. Despite only training for a few days, I felt some differences in my body. My body felt lighter and my stamina went up by quite a bit.
These were the results of training for just two days. There was nothing wrong with Usato-san’s training. It was obviously me who was wrong.
I was supposed to meet Usato-san right now and train. Instead, I was sitting here in such a sorry state and drowning in despair.
“…I’m… an idiot…”
I was afraid of fighting Mina.
There was nothing I dreaded more than fighting against her.
If I lost against her, something even worse would happen to me. I didn’t want to imagine what exactly would happen but it wouldn’t be strange for Mina to come up with something to exceed my expectations.
In that case, remaining like this was just fine.
It was fine as long as the unfortunate things only happened to me. But if I lose against Mina, Usato-san and the other hero beside him would have to compensate. Since I ran away from the duel, I would be the one to shoulder all the blame…
“I didn’t want anyone to have any expectations for me…”
It was better to not cling onto some small hope.
It was fine as long as I was the only one who was hurt.
Since all I could do was heal myself, I didn’t mind being hurt.
By doing this, no one would expect anything from me. I would also not have any expectations for someone to help me.
Whether it was Usato-san, that hero, or the beast girl Kiriha-san who lent me a place to sleep…. None of them would have anything to do with me anymore.
My tears kept flowing as I immersed myself in my own thoughts.
I started to recall what I did in the past two days.
It was nothing but difficult training.
Despite this training being pushed onto me, it was done with good intentions in mind. I experienced kindess again from others for the first time in a while.
Usato-san tried to train someone as useless as me.
He didn’t abandon a failure of a healing magician like me.
No matter how many times I lost consciousness, he would encourage me.
When I was exhausted and couldn’t move, he would carry me back to Kiriha-san’s house and allow me to eat some warm cooking.
I remembered the scene of Usato-san talking cheerfully with the family of beast kin. They had crossed the set barriers that usually divided them.
Kiriha-san, Kyou-san, and Satsuki didn’t frown at Usato-san even once.
Since I always ate dinner alone, this scene felt especially vivid and bright in my memory.
I destroyed everything with my own hands. I wouldn’t be able to experience something like that again… I didn’t have a future anymore.
At the very least, these warm memories allowed me to temporarily forget about that unpleasant family of mine.
This time, I really had nothing left.
I could only wait for Mina to carry out her punishment on me.
But this was my own fault. I was the one who gave up. I just hope that my actions don’t inconvenience Usato-san and his friends. As long as I would bear the burden alone, I will accept any of Mina’s conditions. Everything will be over with that.
I swallowed my own sobs and frantically used my sleeves to wipe my tears.
I wasn’t a beast kin but I will kneel down if Mina tells me to. No matter what she tells me to do, I will do it.
Instead of trying to fight Mina and miserably lose to her, it was better for me to choose the path that would lessen my pain by admitting defeat.
“I should go…”
“Alright, I found you.”
Just as I was about to get up, I heard a cheerful voice. It resounded in this narrow alleyway and felt out-of-place.
Upon hearing that voice, my legs felt weak and I sat back down where I was. I turned toward where the voice came from.. there stood a young man who wore a white coat in this dark and gloomy space.
Since it was so dark, I couldn’t see his face. But from his build and voice alone, I knew who it was. My mouth unconsciously moved and said,
Finding Nack was quite easy.
Although I say it was easy, I would have had a difficult time finding Nack by myself. But with Bluerin and Amako here, the story changed.
I used Bluerin’s nose to track Nack’s scent first. Following Bluerin, we got the general idea and direction of where Nack was. As we followed Bluerin, Amako would look into the future. She would check different paths we had taken in the future and see whether or not Nack was there.
Bluerin basically narrowed down our search area while Amako pinpointed Nack’s position. It was the perfect combination and coordination… Although I was completely useless.
As a result, we were able to easily find Nack. When I first spotted him, he was sobbing and I panicked.
Was my training really that tough!? You’re kidding right…. I thought I did my best to be as gentle as possible.
Rose never gave me any breaks but I would give them frequently to Nack.
Wait… Wasn’t giving breaks during training something obvious to begin with?
A-anyhow… I ignored the condemning gazes from the fox girl and bear behind me and walked towards Nack. I’ll try talking to him one-on-one.
I did my best and called out to him in the friendliest voice possible. Seeing Nack’s response, it looked like he was willing to talk so I sat next to him.
The sun’s rays didn’t reach this alleyway so the ground was nice and cool. Nack looked at me when I sat down but hung his head in shame shortly after.
“Ah, eh… how?”
“This town isn’t that big. Finding you was no trouble for us.”
Even though I sounded confident, I didn’t actually do anything.
Seeing Nack looking at me with surprise and shock, I couldn’t help but laugh a little at myself.
“Sorry. Looks like I was a little too strict with you. I should have realized that since it was still my first time trying to teach someone. I still have a long way to go.”
“That’s… not it. I ran away. It’s not your fault, Usato-san. I… I was intimidated by Mina and lost my resolve to fight against her….”
It looked like it wasn’t the training’s fault.
Then why was he here crying? I tilted my head to the side in confusion as Nack started to explain.
After listening to his explanation, it was evident that he was scared of Mina… This wasn’t as simple as I thought. Mina was deeply embedded in Nack’s psyche. She was powerful enough to completely crush Nack’s determination just by meeting him.
Nack’s image of Mina was probably beyond my imagination.
“Is Mina bullying you because you’re a healing magician?”
I didn’t ask this before since it was a sensitive topic. However, I couldn’t leave things as they now that we’ve come this far.
“….Back in my hometown, we were just acquaintances. But my family was on good terms with her family…”
So they were nothing but acquaintances and their families got along… Huh? If I recall correctly, Mina was the daughter of a noble. Did that mean that Nack belonged in the same class?
It didn’t really make sense. If Nack was a noble just like Mina, then Mina should treat Nack the same since they were similar.
But the reality was completely different.
“I understand your doubts, Usato-san. My family indeed belongs to the noble class. Even within the nobles, my family is the most influential. I’m aware I lived quite a good life before coming here.”
“Could you explain in more detail?”
“The people in my family have a history of being born with the ability to use water magic. My father even purposely chose someone who could use water magic as his bride. That person later on became my mother… Of course, my father’s plan was to initially hire an instructor to teach me water magic but…”
“….But you have healing magic, huh.”
“Yes. Before coming here, I had just turned 9 years old and was celebrating my birthday with my little sister. It had already been arranged beforehand to examine both our magic talents on this day. My parents and my little sister naturally thought I could use water magic… But the result was that only my little sister demonstrated the aptitude for water magic.”
Although Nack was mocking and laughing at himself, I could feel a sense of emptiness from him.
This situation already went beyond the worst case scenario I thought of in my head.
I suspect that for an abnormality like Nack being born in an influential noble family, his parents have already…
“After that, my life completely changed. Despite how affectionate and kind my father and mother were before, they became cold towards me. I couldn’t meet my little sister who I got along with before either… Hahaha, it’s really ridiculous, right? Just because they discovered my aptitude for magic, they started to discriminate against me. What’s even more ridiculous was they drove me out of the mansion and forced me to come here to Luquis. At that point, I had already lost a place to return to… But when I left that mansion, I felt like a burden was lifted. I thought, I was finally free….”
Come to think of it, I remember my first encounter with Nack. He looked desperate and panicked when he realized he would be late for his class. The only place he had left was this school… He probably didn’t want to be expelled from school for missing classes.
Since something as important as that was on the line, it made sense for him to be in such a hurry.
But even if he viewed the school as his only place to call home, he still couldn’t live there in peace.
“And then Mina, who didn’t really get along with you, started to target you…”
“I have no idea why Mina is bullying me. It could be my family’s fault, the fact that I have healing magic… There are a lot of things that come to mind. Either way, I… I don’t want to go back to my family.”
This was heavy….
Why were all the people around me carrying such heavy pasts and troubles?
Amako definitely had a difficult past. Kazuki had his own concerns too. I seem to draw in people like this everywhere… This was truly bad for my own heart.
Looking at how troubled Nack was, I basically didn’t have a choice. I don’t want to abandon him.
“In other words, you want to know why it is that Mina bothers to find you even though you’re not that close with her…?”
“No, it’s not that simple and cute…”
“I understand that your parents are complete fools. I know that you have no other place to return to. But what are you going to do from now on? After graduating from here, you’ll have to go on a journey… What will you do?”
This world was harsher than I thought.
I tend to forget this because Lyngle was peaceful due its kind King. Other countries trafficked slaves.. there were also bandits and monsters between each country. When you travelled from one country to another, you had to be careful and pay extra attention to your surroundings.
Nack had healing magic which wasn’t all that special compared to other types of magic. Everyone could use magic to recover their wounds, healing magic was only slightly better at it. The worst part was that Nack could only use healing magic on himself.
Nack probably understood the gravity of his own situation since he was staring down at the ground.
I gave him a wry smile and slowly got up.
“Just come to the Rescue Squad.”
“I’ve talked about it before right? If we included you, we would have 3 healing magicians. Well, there’s also one member that’s a little special… I guess. You can rest assured that Leader won’t mind if you joined. I mean, she’s even okay with a bunch of scary looking guys who are like monsters.”
Judging from the results of Nack’s two days of training, he should be able to keep up with what Felm was doing.
Even if Nack couldn’t use healing magic while running, he could join the scary bunch’s group of black robes. In either case, Rose wouldn’t reject him.
“If you don’t want that, you could also come to Lyngle and live there. I have a friend who is also a healing magician and runs a clinic. He could certainly use another helper. If you don’t want to go through with the Rescue Squad’s training, this is also an option.”
He should be fine in Olga-san and Uluru-san’s hands.
It was possible that Nack’s ability to heal others would come back too.
“W-wait just a moment!! W-what am I going to do about my fight with Mina!? If I lose against her like this, Usato-san, you’ll…”
“Welllll, it’s not like you have to go out of your way to compensate her or receive her punishment. As long as I threaten her a little, she should keep her mouth shut. It’ll be fine.”
Honestly, it wasn’t necessary to go along with Mina’s conditions. If she requests the impossible I’ll just use some more forceful methods. Of course, I would only use this kind of measure if there were no other ways.
To put it bluntly, Mina was just a little girl were it not for her family’s noble status. It would really…. REALLY, break my heart to use such drastic measures but… Well, what can I do? Sometimes I have to become the demon.
Hah. Yeah right. I was totally enjoying the idea of punishing Mina with a little force.
While I’m at it, I should also invite Inukami-senpai to join me.
“I’ll prepare a place for you. Somewhere you can return to and feel like you belong. That’s why you don’t need to mind it. You feel like it’s stupid that people are classifying and discriminating against people based on what magic they have, right? There’s nothing wrong with who you are. You should just find a place where you can be yourself and live happily.”
“I’ve been entrusted with an important mission so I can’t personally lead you to Lyngle right now. Therefore, I’ll write a letter for you to take instead… But since I’m still unfamiliar with using these characters to write, it’ll probably take me quite a bit of time.”
Nack sucked in a breath of air and looked down. It looked like he needed some time for my words to settle in.
I advanced the conversation on my own but now all I could do was wait for Nack to make a decision. If he were to go with Olga-san and Uluru-san, I wouldn’t need to worry. The problem was there was a high possibility of Rose saying ‘Just when did you become so important that you could add a group member to the Rescue Squad on your own? Huh??’ Then Rose would get mad and start beating me up… I was a little scared.
Huh..? Didn’t that mean that I would face the consequences if I returned back safely from this journey?
…H-hmm. I probably shouldn’t think about it for now.
“I’ve already said this much. What do you want to do?”
“….Is it… really okay….?”
“You don’t need to think like that… You’re the one deciding. I’m just showing you one path you can take.”
Just like how Rose showed me a path when I first arrived in this world, it was now my turn to show Nack a path.
I looked at Nack and presented my hand to him. Nack looked at my hand and his eyes visibly quivered. He extended one of his hands to meet mine… But as they were about to touch, he stopped.
“I think… I will fight against Mina after all…”
“You don’t have to force yourself, you know?”
There was no need to burden yourself with something you couldn’t handle.
Nack slowly shook his head and looked directly at me with his swollen red eyes. He looked serious. Within his black and dull eyes, something had obviously changed. He looked much more reliable now. There was a spark that wasn’t there before.
“Right now, I don’t have the right to be at the place you recommended. I’ll properly sever this tie I have with Mina. Unless I face her head on, I’ll never be able to be satisfied with myself. That’s why…”
He paused briefly before grabbing onto my hand and pulling himself up.
“That’s why… Please continue the training with me!!”
I felt like this was the first time Nack truly wanted to overcome this. He was similar to me back then.
It was a strange feeling but I didn’t hate it.
In that case… I should stop trying to project myself onto him. Taking it easy on Nack wouldn’t actually help him. In fact, it was impolite.
“I got it. But this time I won’t be so gentle. Even if you faint or ask me to stop, I won’t stop. If you faint, I’ll wake you up. Even if you somehow lose your legs, I’ll restore them back to normal. No matter what happens, I’ll make sure you’re constantly using healing magic.”
“Eh…………. I-I’ll do it! I won’t complain anymore!!”
We still had time, we can make it.
I felt like I saw his determination waver a bit… Perhaps I was just seeing things?
….Well, I probably didn’t need to worry about it.
“Let’s get out of this dark place. Let’s go back to the school and resume the training.”
I headed towards where Bluerin and Amako were waiting.
The time I had left to train Nack including today was 3 days. We lost a bit of time but it wasn’t really a big deal. Nack was overflowing with motivation now and I wouldn’t go easy on him anymore.
I actually didn’t want him to experience Rose’s methods but Nack looked confident right now. He didn’t have a single trace of unwillingness anymore.
Even so, was I capable of using Rose’s methods on someone else…? No, it wasn’t a matter of whether I could do it or not. It’s I WOULD do it. Nack had faith in me. It was my duty to respond to that.
I’ll throw away these useless thoughts of pity and sympathy for Nack.
For Nack’s sake, I’ll steel myself and become a demon.
Right now, I didn’t mind even if people called me a fiend or the devil.
I won’t just teach Nack what Rose taught me, I’ll beat it into his body.
We had 3 days remaining. During this time, I— I will become a sadistic brute.
Nack was walking next to me and his face suddenly paled. Was something wrong?
Author: The real training from hell begins now…..