In other words, he had assumed that I would be dead. While it was not impossible, any sane person would have to assume that he was acting.
As the boats got closer, Balpas jumped into our boat and began to slap me on the shoulder.
“Ahh, what a surprise this is. We were attacked by pirates and hurt badly. We came here out of desperation and… Look at this place… And you are alive. Yes, it is a great surprise.”
By saying he was surprised, he meant that he didn’t care about my declaration of independence, or that he didn’t know.
This too, was very likely an act.
As Balpas looked at me with relief, I answered in a measured voice.
“In other words, brother, you didn’t plan to come here?”
“Of course, not. Why would I come out to sea without some great purpose? In fact, father has given me a secret order…”
“A secret order?”
“I can understand that you are curious, Heal. But a secret order is a secret order. And this is father we’re talking about. And so I cannot tell you. But it’s about money. I am going to make a lot of it! …Well, it will be difficult for us to reach our destination in this state.”
He sighed and then squeezed my hand.
“Heal. I hate to ask this, but won’t you let us on your island? We have many who are wounded that we wish to treat. As for this ship, we just need to make some emergency repairs, that is all. Of course, we will pay you.”
“And you will let me search the ship?”
“Aye, of course! But there is not much time, so let’s hurry!”
Balpas agreed, and we were then led to the ship.
Once we were on deck, I saw that there were indeed many who were wounded. Some had even lost their limbs, and there were traces of blood everywhere.
Aries turned to Balpas.
“I see. It must have been a terrible battle. Who exactly did you fight?”
“Ah, isn’t it obvious? A great battleship like this is now falling apart. Could it be anyone other than the infamous Kamyu and the terrible Korbas fleet? Ah, what a horror that was. To be chased by a hundred ships at once.”
Kamyu’s fleet had been annihilated. And she was currently headed to the city of Amolis on the west continent.
There was no way she was near these seas and engaging in acts of piracy.
In other words, Balpas was certainly lying to us now.
While I could just play along… No, there were orcs here as well. It was better to just say it.
“Brother. I would prefer it if you stopped lying to us.”
“Wh-what? I am telling no lie…”
“I’m sure you’ve seen some on the boat earlier, but some of our island residents are of the Korbas. And they are no longer pirates.”
“Y-you are the one who is lying! Well, I did find it odd that there were monsters. Heal, don’t tell me you are now supporting the pirates…?”
It would be considered a grievous act of defiance against Sanfaris. However, after making this accusation, Balpas quickly bowed his head.
“S-sorry…I did lie to you… We didn’t fight the Korbas. About that secret order that I told you earlier. It’s that. We were chasing a certain person.”
Balpas had a look that suggested he had no choice but to tell the truth. Then he continued.
“It’s your former fiance. Remember Leila? The daughter of Duke Barleon?”
“Yes. Of course, I remember.”
“She escaped Sanfaris as soon as the duke was arrested. And we’ve been chasing her… And just when we were close to catching her…we were unexpectedly intercepted by a powerful enemy, leading to this.”
Balpas scratched his head with shame. But then he noticed my expression.
“…Uh, I thought you would have a bigger reaction.”
“Leila has been on this island for a while. In fact, she has now gone to a different place by ship.”
“Th-that can’t be?”
“No…it’s the truth.”
I answered. ‘Truly?’ Balpas asked again, and I nodded silently.
“W-well, now that I think about it, she was once tied to you. So of course you would form an alliance…”
Balpas’s eyes seemed to swim in one direction and then another. He knew that he had made a mistake.
However, he then bowed his head again.
“Sorry! That too was a lie!! Uh, umm…the thing is…”
He was desperately trying to think of another lie.
However, there were many strange things about this ship.
As Aries had mentioned, it did not look like there had been a real battle.
There were no arrows to be seen, and it did not not look like weapons had been prepared.
If they had been attacked, it was not by being boarded, but by long range magic attacks.
However, why wouldn’t they just say that? It made sense that they wanted to hide their reason for coming here, but why hide the identity of those who did this to them?
No, it hardly mattered now.
“Brother, more importantly… Fule, will you help?”
I left Balpas and began to cast healing magic on a wounded man.
His arm had been severed at the shoulder, and his face was deathly pale. I needed to act quickly.
Fule also began to cast healing magic.
After healing the first man, he gripped my hand with his remaining one.
“Th-thank you…Your Highness.”
“I stopped the bleeding and the pain for now. But these bandages might cause contamination, so we will have to change them on the island.”
“Thank you so much. I have a child who is still young… I don’t know how I can repay you.”
Tears fell from his eyes as he bowed his head.
But there were many others I had to treat.
It was with such thoughts that I stood up. That’s when I heard laughter echo from behind me.
That cold, high-pitched laughter filled me with dread.
It was the voice of the man who had taken so much from me in the past.
When I turned around, a handsome man with golden hair was standing there.
“Ah, it’s been a while, Heal. And I see that you can finally use healing magic now.”
Oren grinned as he looked at me.
I disliked him…no, hated him. But I also feared him.
But more than anything, I was angry and annoyed.
“…Can’t you use healing magic as well? Why haven’t you done anything? Your men are all wounded.”
“Huh? That’s not my job. I just came here to guard Balpas. Why should I break a sweat to help common people who seem to sprout out of the ground like weeds?”
Oren’s crest was ‘Sage.’ He had always said that he was the chosen one. And anyone who did not have a good crest was disposable.
I wanted to punch him in the face then.
However, that wasn’t important right now.
“Aries! Have the island send more boats! We must carry out the wounded!”
Aries answered, and then waved a flag towards Sheorl.
Then Oren muttered.
“Yes, do hurry up. Or else they might all die.”
“Oren, help me. Treat the wounded.”
“What? You think you have the right to order me? …What!?”
I stopped holding back my magic energy and then glared at Oren.
“Hurry. You’re a part of the royal family, aren’t you?”
“You… Are you really Heal? But then that magic… No, it’s impossible!”
Suddenly, a waterfall of sweat was pouring from Oren’s forehead. He had noticed the amount of my magic energy.
Sensing the atmosphere between us, Balpas suddenly grabbed Oren’s arm and shouted.
“Oren, do as he says! And the rest of you who can move, help take the wounded to the boats! Now!”
And then Balpas dragged Oren over to the wounded and forced him to sit down.
The whole time that Oren muttered his chants, his eyes did not leave me.
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