Chapter 4 – I Helped the Kijins at the Village!
After defeating the slave hunters, we must have walked through the dense forest for about half an hour.
And then finally, I could see glimpses of vibrant fields of grass beyond the trees.
There was a lot that I wanted to ask Iria, but she seemed to be unwell, and so I only offered words of concern about her injury.
Still, Iria managed to raise her body and point towards the field.
“…Sir Joshua. That is our village.”
There were a few dozen plain tents. So this was her settlement.
“So, that is it. Let’s go then.”
However, once we were closer, we were intercepted by people wielding spears.
In the lead was a girl who had her black hair tied behind her back. She raised her voice when she saw us.
“Princess!? But you are… Bastard! Unhand our princess!!”
“Wait, Mette! He is the one who saved me!!”
Iria said, but the girl called Mette only glared as she pointed her spear at me.
“A human? That is hard to believe.”
“Are you refusing to obey me!?”
Iria raised her voice.
However, none of them lowered their guard.
Humans really were hated…
Besides, Iria was still young. So it was possible that she wasn’t fully accepted as the chief yet.
After all, while Iria had introduced herself to me as the chief, they were calling her princess.
Either that, or the chief, who was Iria’s parent, had died recently, and they simply hadn’t changed the way they addressed her yet.
There were various other possibilities. Maybe Iria wasn’t considered old enough, or they only allowed males to become the chief.
And so I shouted at Mette.
“I am not hostile, and will release her at once! Iria, you should be fine now. I’ll put you down.”
“Ye-yes! Thank you!”
After putting Iria on the ground, I summoned the horn and slave hunter equipment from my magic workshop.
“Wiz, if you don’t mind.”
The slime carried the horn and headed towards the Kijins.
They must have been very surprised at the sudden appearance of the equipment and horn, as their mouths hung open.
“That is Iria’s horn. Take it. Now Iria, go to them.”
In order to avoid a conflict, I wanted to leave the place at once.
However, Iria would not leave, and she took my hand.
“Pl-please wait, Sir Joshua! You-you must allow me to reward you!”
“I don’t need anything. More importantly, I am sorry that my fellow humans have acted so horribly towards you.”
“Why are you apologizing, Sir Joshua!? All of it… It’s my fault for not being able to protect my tribe. I cannot even protect myself.”
Tears streamed down Iria’s face as she gripped my arm tightly.
I didn’t know what kind of words of comfort I could offer.
It must mean that her people had been victims of the slave hunters before.
Then it happened. From the tents, a voice rang.
“Help! One of the young ones has been impaled by an Armor Boar’s horn!”
“What!? After all I said about avoiding Armor Boars!”
The Kijins grew frantic.
An Armor Boar, huh?
I believe they were monsters that looked like boars.
With an anxious look, Iria turned to me and said,
“Sir Joshua, would you please wait in our village for now?”
“Aye. I can use some simple healing magic. Perhaps I can help.”
I said, and Iria and the Kijins looked surprised.
However, Iria quickly bowed her head.
“…That will help! Please lend us your power!”
I nodded in agreement, and then headed towards the village with Iria.
A crowd had gathered in the center of the village.
Iria and I waded through the people.
And then we saw a single Kijin man lying on the ground.
He was barely breathing, and I could see that there was a deep wound in his stomach.
“Why did you take on the Armor Boar! We told you to run. So many times.”
Iria said as she stepped closer.
“I-I’m sorry… But, I wanted you and the children to have good meat to eat. But look what it’s done… Hehe. How pathetic.”
Upon hearing those words, tears fell from Iria’s eyes once again.
I see. So while he knew it was reckless, he had still challenged the Armor Boar.
An Armor Boar was about three times the size of an ordinary boar, and was covered in iron-like scales.
On the other hand, the Kijins had very poor equipment.
They wore no armor, and wielded spears that were made of tree branches with sharpened stones as spearheads.
Like that, even hunting normal boars would be dangerous.
In fact, all of the Kijins here looked very thin.
And so the man must have been all the more desperate to get some meat.
I quickly crouched in front of him and placed my hand over his stomach.
He looked at me and his face tensed.
“Don’t worry. This man saved me. Sir Joshua, what do you think?”
“The wound is very deep… With my magic, I doubt it will do more than close it at most. But it will still stop the bleeding. Heal.”
I chanted, and then the stomach wound began to close.
The man looked shocked.
“Th-this is magic?”
“Aye. Simple healing magic. Has the pain subsided a little?”
“Ye-yes. Not a little. Almost completely. Is this real?”
“Truly? Well, you should still take it easy. My healing magic is of the lowest rank, so it will probably start hurting again soon. He should be taken to a place where he can rest.”
I said, but the others just looked on with wide eyes.
“Th-that wound was healed?”
“This cannot be. It was bad enough to kill him.”
“It is the work of the gods!!”
…Surely they were exaggerating now?
Well, I suppose they didn’t know much about magic.
After all, no one had used healing magic on him before I arrived.
Though, it was true that it had closed nicely…
The level of healing was affected by the amount of magic energy that the user had.
And it was true that after many years of using Production Magic, I was able to use a lot of energy.
Just then, Iria turned to the others and nodded.
“Do as Sir Joshua says.”
And so the villagers carried the man away.
“I’m alive… You! Thank you!”
While being taken away, the man thanked me repeatedly.
There were others, who must have been his family, who also bowed their heads.
Iria bowed to me again.
“Allow me to thank you as well, Sir Joshua. You have saved us again. I…don’t know how I can repay you!”
“Don’t mention it, Iria. More importantly, I think you better get some rest too. You did lose a horn.”
“I am fine! But yes, the horn…Sir Joshua. Please accept my horn. Humans target us for it! And so it must have some worth.”
Iria said after seeing Wiz, who carried the horn and equipment.
I shook my head.
“I cannot do that. This is yours.”
“But! But then what can I do to repay you!?”
Iria said as she clutched my hands.
…She was certainly stubborn.
I suppose I could ask for some food.
But then again, they clearly didn’t have much of that. And so I’d feel bad.
As I thought of such things, Iria began to sway unsteadily.
Mette quickly moved forward and supported Iria before she fell.
“Princess! You must get some rest!”
“B-but…we must repay this man before…”
“I will make sure that he doesn’t leave… Now, take the princess.”
At Mette’s words, the Kijins carried Iria towards her tent.