Volume 1, Chapter 16: Caria Burdnick was a Nasty Woman
I felt excruciating pain every time I breathed.
Even if I moved my finger slightly, I would feel as if I was pierced by thousand needles on my back muscles. My skin on the back was torn. Flesh was bare. It truly bothered me.
I felt so much pain that I couldn’t even sleep for a moment. Did Barberridge Burdnick really wanted to torment me and kill me for insulting him? That would make a ridiculous story.
I was laid in the cold pavement of the dungeon. Everything was cold and the air was stuffy. When I breathed again, I felt that excruciating pain.
「That was a foolish thing to do. 」
It was Caria Burdnick. I tried to speak to her, but words didn’t come out from my mouth. Only a slight sobbing came from my mouth. It was a trembling voice engulfed with pain. I was visibly in bad shape. I had difficulty to open my eyes because my eyelids were swollen after the guards beat me.
「Good, don’t talk. You are an idiot. There was no need to risk your life like that. Idiot. Foolish man. 」
Only my ears were perfectly functional. I heard Caria Burdnick’s cursing come right through my earlobes. Ah, I wanted to refute as much as possible, but I was in no condition to do so.
「You can’t even open your eyes…Hey, don’t open your mouth. It will hurt more. You have to be patient for now. 」
She brought me a wooden container. My mouth was full with mucus, therefore I tried to spit it out. However, as I pushed that bitter mucus out, I felt my whole body in agony. I had a lot of pain on my wounds just for moving my neck.
I was feeling frustrated because I was so helpless in this awful situation. In addition, I felt even more irritated because the mucus went slowly into my throat and it became stuck.
「Originally, this medicinal herb was used to cover wounds, but nowadays, people use it to make a drink. It gets easier this way. They say the effect is quicker too. Of course, it doesn’t provide a complete cure. Your wounds won’t close with this. But it will help. 」
Medicinal herbs, I see. I used it only as a paste to cover some scars. I never knew I could drink this. Still, I didn’t want to see these herbs ever again. Fortunately, my tongue was accustomed to unpleasant things. But it was the first time a bitter taste ran slowly through my tongue and throat as if it was torturing me.
「…I’ll tie a horse near the hut behind the fort tomorrow morning. You can use it to go home. The quest is over. 」
I felt some cloth around my wounds. I was being treated. It was just like Ariene did to me once. It was so strange. Caria Burdnick never treated nor touched me before. I never felt her kindness. The only thing that I always remembered was her insults and violence.
And now I was being treated by the person who was mean to me. This felt so unrealistic that I started to doubt even my own mind. I thought that I became crazy.
「Your wounds are excessive…I’m glad that you can’t see them with your own eyes yet. 」
Somehow, I felt slightly relieved. I couldn’t describe this feeling, but Caria Burdnick’s thin fingertips gently wrapped cloth around my wounds.
「You know, I… I think I’ll stay here. As a knight, I was entrusted to protect the frontline. So, that means I won’t see you anymore. 」
While I thought to myself, Caria Burdnick continued to speak.
Her words were both shaky and delicate at the same time. I didn’t know much about how this fort works, but it was because of me that she faced this destiny? I was too embarrassed to even mutter a sound. Yet, her unwavering attitude showed how noble she was.
Ah, I see. So, she tried her best to respect her noble upbringing.
I knew that Caria Burdnick was not a gentle person to begin with. She might has the same traits as her father when it comes to trample on the weak. But, her heart was undeniably noble and honorable.
「Okay. You’re a good man. I’ll remember your name, Lugis. Don’t you dare die that easily.」
Caria Burdnick said those words when she finished wrapping the cloth around my wounds. For a moment, I didn’t breathe since I was a bit startled.
What was she saying? Of course, I won’t die that easily. It was not the end of my life yet. It was not necessarily a goodbye. This fort was not that far away from the capital. Besides, the Caria Burdnick’s glory will surely come. If I remembered the timeline correctly, she would participate in a fencing tournament. It will be held as a contest against local and foreign threats. I remembered that her abilities would become known across the country and she’ll be given a prosperous position in the Knight’s Order.
Even though I knew the future, I wondered why it sounded so strange. Her words sounded like an eternal goodbye.
Really, I was glad my eyes and face were swollen. I didn’t want to show her my real face right now.
My throat was sore and it hurt when I opened my mouth to speak. So, I couldn’t even answer her properly.
Her words echoed in the dungeon. After she professed all her words, she got up and went away. I could hear Caria Burdnick’s footsteps as she went further and further away.
「Well, things went ugly for you. But, you did it. You came back alive from that quest. Then, everything is fine. 」
I returned to the capital without eating nor drinking. Old man Richard’s praise didn’t even resonate with me that well.
My body was full of bruises and cuts. My face was still swollen bad. How can he speak to me easily like that? Did he know that this was a dangerous job?
「Dangerous work is when you are in the middle of a battlefield or when you’ll kill someone. Well, that was…a half-dangerous mission. 」
「I was foolish. I can’t believe that I trusted your words. I never learn…Ah, that’s right. Caria Burdnick stayed in the fort. Send her reward over there.」
He exposed me to danger twice in my life already. He took a cheap reward from an old sash as I talked to him. She treated me. At least, I should thank her by giving her a reward. It was too dangerous for me to go back to that fort. But I thought that sending a reward would be okay.
However, when I finished talking, old man Richard was scratching his bread as he wrinkled his eyebrows.
「What the hell are you talking about? Since she was a Burdnick, it was obvious that she’ll leave the Knight’s Order one day and recuperate the lost territory.」
In other words, that letter was a lie. She was meant to be taken to the fort one day. Her fight against the hexenbeast made things go faster than originally planned. This old man looked at me as he took a deep sigh.
Ah, I see. Then that meant…Yes, I understood it well.
The pain from my wounds stopped temporarily.
I was an idiot, after all. Why didn’t I die back then? Why did Caria Burdnick, who was supposed to be a member of the Knights, remained in the fort against her will? And why I felt that her last words were as if she was mysteriously disappearing?
I abandoned all of these questions and I came home like a fool.
「Old man. 」
I had a hard time talking. I didn’t know it then. I stared at old man Richard’s face who looked at me as if nothing ever happened.
Caria Burdnick. That person was a nasty woman. Ah, really, a disgusting woman.
「Prepare my money…The job is not done yet.」
I didn’t want to see her face ever again, or so I thought.
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