DAR Vol. 3 Chapter 9 Part 4

The next day, after breakfast, Roa and the others received a visit: it was Nostalgia’s other members. Dietrich had stayed over and even had breakfast in the Coralde company cafeteria, so the whole party was now gathered.

They visited Roa’s house once every few days and borrowed the training grounds normally used by Coralde’s security guards, where Grandpa Gry would train them. Obviously enough, such a proposal had come from the group’s magic supremacist and spellcaster, Bernhart.

He wholeheartedly admired Grandpa Gry’s magic and prostrated himself on the ground to beg for the gryphon’s teachings, so Grandpa Gry accepted immediately.

….it accepted, but all the troublesome parts of training -securing a place, preparing the schedule, etc- all fell on Roa’s lap.

When Bernhart pleaded to receive Grandpa Gry’s teachings, he even said that he was prepared not only to leave the party, but even forfeit his own country. Because of that, in order to prevent him from going too far and to keep an eye on him, Nostalgia’s members all pleaded Grandpa Gry to instruct them.

<I’ll personally instruct the gloomy one in magic. Sleepyhead, playboy, you spar with the twins. The noisy woman can start with instructing the brat.>

Nostalgia’s members had already grown used to being called derogatory nicknames such as “sleepyhead” and “noisy woman,” so they obeyed its orders without a word.

They had many things they wanted to protest, but there was no point in doing so: seeing how Grandpa Gry called Roa nothing but “brat”, they understood that it did not have the slightest intention of calling humans by their names.

The training, naturally, was not given for free. The payment was to let the twins build experience in fighting against humans and train Roa.

The twins had high fighting prowess, but little experience fighting human opponents. Based on physical abilities alone, they could easily stand up to a human battalion, but there was still the possibility that they would face a strong human opponent they couldn’t neutralize with physical abilities alone in the future. Because of this, Grandpa Gry wanted them to learn how to battle against humans. 

As for Roa, even if he had the servant beasts on his side Grandpa Gry wanted him to be able to defend himself on his own. The gryphon, however, was ill-suited to teach the small and frail Roa how to fight. It could explain orally, but with a magic beast body, it was impossible to do any actual training. It would take too much time.

Cornelia was similar to Roa in stature and had studied self-defense techniques that did not require muscular strength, so she could train Roa properly thanks to her experience. Alongside such basics, Cornelia could also teach him how to reinforce his body with magic while fighting.

The starting point for everything was Bernhart’s plea, but the result was desirable for Grandpa Gry too.

“Okay, let’s do it over there then!”

“Yes!”

Roa moved to the training grounds’ open spot Cornelia pointed to. Roa had already visited the grounds several times in the past month, so he showed no signs of nervousness.

To receive proper battle training after he had been discarded from Crack of Dawn and did not know whether he could become an adventurer anymore might sound cruel, but Roa had no complaints. He participated in each training session with enthusiasm, maybe because he felt he had improved thanks to Cornelia’s training. 

The Coralde company training grounds was a stone building equipped with a roof. It couldn’t be considered impressive, but it was spacious enough for dozens of people to train at the same time.

The time after breakfast was when all employees started their daily activities, with the security guards, who normally used the training grounds, following them, so only Roa’s group was present.

No one other than them could hear Grandpa Gry’s voice, so nothing would happen even if they were seen, but some might find it strange to see a gryphon act as if it was an instructor. It was widely known that Grandpa Gry was Roa’s servant beast, but the fact that it had an intellect high enough to be capable of conversation was a secret known only to a few.

Because of that, they always picked time slots when the grounds were deserted for their training.

“Today we’ll start from a knife mock battle, okay? Attack me as if you mean to knock me out.”

What Roa practiced with Cornelia were techniques to avoid attacks, critical hits to use when caught and fighting with a knife. Cornelia also taught him her specialty, physical boosting magic. Fighting with knives could also be applied when facing magic beasts, so they spent the longest time on it.

“Yes!”

As soon as he replied, Roa lowered his stance and took out his knife. It was slightly larger than a regular one, which was also used to dissect magic beasts. The blade was jagged, to make it easier to dissect.

Another major characteristic was the single line drawn on the blade. It felt different than iron to the touch, almost wet. It shone just like the rest of the weapon, but it was almost transparent as if it was in another material.

It was mithril.

A regular iron blade was imbued with two needles’ worth of mithril. By using magic on the mithril part, the knife could turn into a magic weapon. Roa had requested it of a blacksmith he knew well, and the knife had been completed one week prior.

“Let us start, please.”

“Attack me as you like, okay? I’ll teach you while dodging.”

“Yes!”

Roa kept a low stance and started swinging the knife towards the unarmed Cornelia. He used a normal knife, and not a training weapon, because Cornelia said that it was also training to become able to point a blade towards other human beings.

People unused to fighting did not know the resolve necessary to point a blade towards other humans and would end up hesitating. Such feelings would create openings that might prove fatal. In order to get rid of such risks, Cornelia thought it was necessary to use real knives even during training.

“That was good, but your eyes give your aim away, be careful…that knife’s pretty good, huh…”

Cornelia whispered while dodging Roa’s slashes at the last second, on purpose.

“Hey, can’t you introduce us to him after all? Oh, your footwork is getting loose.”

Cornelia then lightly kicked Roa’s legs, since he had stepped in too far.

Roa was about to say something in reply, but Cornelia’s chop was approaching, as if preventing him from doing so. Roa focused on avoiding it and couldn’t talk.

Cornelia’s questions and attacks while Roa tried to answer them were part of training too.

Parallel thinking, simultaneous response. To think about multiple things at the same time during battle and execute them: that was the goal.

“Introducing, him, is, okay!! Buuttt!!!”

Roa tried his best to reply, but he could only manage it with short spurts of breath. He was the type that, when focused, would lose sight of his surroundings: he wasn’t skilled at doing more than one thing at the same time. Talking while fighting, especially, was very much outside his strengths.

“Is that blacksmith so weird?”

“Y-Yes!! Kuhh!”

“Hmm…even so, I want to know him. The sword I’m using now is just something I bought as a fill-in, so I’m not really happy with it, and the battle against the golems made me understand that we need a blunt weapon too.”

“Yes!”

“That knife is proof enough of the blacksmith’s skills. He’s the same person who taught you about adjusting armor, right? Ah, that was no good. You have to target the inner part of the wrist. If you can slice the opponent’s tendons they won’t be able to hold a weapon and will also lose a lot of blood, so if the attack lands you’ll be at a big advantage.”

“Yes!!”

“We’ve got finances to spare right now, so I would really like a new weapon.”

“Yes!”

“That’s all you’re saying now. Think well and talk.”

“Under, stood!!”

Roa attacks with his knife, Cornelia dodges and talks to him. Such an exchange continued for more than ten minutes. When Cornelia half forced Roa to promise to introduce the blacksmith to them, Roa was out of breath and barely managed to speak.

𑁋

After the mock battle with Cornelia, though she was unarmed, only dodged and occasionally lightly chopped him…Roa sat down on the ground, wheezing.

Cornelia, who was supposed to have moved a lot too, was not out of breath at all and did not seem to have broken a sweat either. Even if they were both adventurers, there was a large difference in physical strength between the All-Rounder Roa and the high-rank adventurer Cornelia.

Roa had enough physical strength to move around freely in difficult environments such as magic beast forests: he was definitely tougher than the average person. Though it was a mock battle, he had moved while using his powers of concentration to the max for dozens of minutes, which was proof enough.

Roa himself believed to be extremely weak, but the real reason was that the high-rank adventurers he knew were all monsters with incredible physical strength.

“Good morning, everyone. I see you’re working very hard.”

Suddenly, someone called the group. They turned around and saw Coralde standing at the entrance of the training grounds.

<Merchant, do not get in the way of our training. We are at a crucial part.>

Grandpa Gry, who probably noticed Coralde’s approach before he called them, replied to him. Its tone was rough, but there was no ill will in it. It almost sounded like it was joking.

Howeer, only Roa, the magic wolf twins, and Coralde -apt at reading others- noticed it.

“Good morning!”

“Good….morni….”

“……”

Dietrich, Cornelia and Kristoff answered at the same time, followed by Roa, still sitting on the ground, panting. Bernhart just bowed his head lightly and the twins waved their paws.

No one reacted to Grandpa Gry’s words, but this was because another man was standing behind Coralde. Grandpa Gry’s “voice” was a secret in the Coralde company: only very few individuals, whom Coralde trusted as if they were family, knew about it. However, even such people were made to promise not to speak of it to anyone else through “Contract Magic”.

Because of this, when other people were present those who could hear Grandpa Gry pretended not to. Grandpa Gry was aware of it, so it did not react with anger even if everyone ignored what it said.

According to Grandpa Gry, those bound by the contract would eventually have conversations even if they didn’t actually speak, but just think the words, so it was possible to talk from long distances. At present, Roa did not have the slightest feeling he could, though.

“Roa, I’m truly sorry to bother you, but urgent work came up, so could we push up our schedule?”

“Ah, yes…no problem.”

Roa took a deep breath and stood up.

<Hm? We’re still training, brat!>

Grandpa Gry, very unhappy, came closer to Roa, but when Roa lightly rubbed its neck, its expression softened up and came even closer, as if pleading for more rubbing.

“I’ll continue after I’m back, sorry.”

<After the training, I want a brushing session. Then I’ll allow you>

“Sure, sure.”

Roa whispered so that no one else would hear, rubbed the gryphon’s head one more time and headed towards Coralde. Then Roa, Coralde and the other man went to Roa’s house.

Since there was no sitting room, they sat in the kitchen space. Roa quickly prepared and served them tea.

“My, what a nice aroma. What is it?”

“Rosehip tea. It is pretty sour, so please drink it with honey.”

“My!”

Coralde excitedly took the cup in his hands. Roa had chosen the tea with the best aroma and taste among the ones he recently made, as Coralde enjoyed trying new things.

Whenever he had time, Roa enjoyed making herb tea with all sorts of plants. As he gathered large quantities of plants for his magic potions, he made herbal tea when he needed a change of pace. Another reason was that Roa himself often drank herbal tea.

The citrus tea he made even started being sold within the Coralde company.

“Ehm…..could you tell me why I have been called here?”

Drinking the herbal tea, the man who came with Coralde asked an awkward question. He was the leader of Coralde’s coachmen, Chuck. He had accompanied Roa’s group up to the entrance of the Aldon forest and knew Nostalgia from before that too.

He usually talked in an informal, slightly rough tone, but if his employer was present he would speak more formally, of course.

“Actually, there is medicine we would like you to try.”

Coralde took a sip of his tea and replied, with his ever-present smile on his lips.

“A medicine, sir?”

Hearing the word medicine, Chuck looked at Roa. Since they had to go to Roa’s house, it had to be a magic potion. 

The employees of Coralde’s trading company already knew that Roa was a first-rate alchemist capable of concocting all sorts of potions. Coralde had sold him part of his land at very low prices and gave him special treatment, after all. He had to be first-rate. While the Adventurers’ Guild did not recognize him, he was also known as a first-rate tamer who subjugated a gryphon and magic wolves.

Someone like that and the president called me to Roa’s house to try a magic potion without anyone seeing…it has to be something suspicious…

Chuck started feeling uneasy and clenched his fist under the table out of nervousness. Coralde generally treasured his employees, but he was still a merchant. He would probably take risks if it meant making a profit.

“What kind of medicine is it?”

Chuck restrained his growing concerns and acted unfazed, trying not to let them notice.

“Roa?”

“Yes.”

Roa lightly nodded to Coralde, then climbed to the first floor. When he came back, he had a glass bottle in hand. It was a transparent bottle, a bit bigger than Roa’s hand, with a bright purple liquid inside.

“This is a super recovery potion.”

Chuck thought that his ears had failed him.

“Er…a spare recovery potion…right?”

Chuck had to confirm. He had to have mistaken “spare” for “super”. He knew, however, that what Roa was holding was a potion the likes of which he had never seen before.

“No, super.”

Roa casually replied with a smile, and Chuck stared wide-eyed at him, like he was looking at a monster.

Recovery magic potions were very useful to society, so their basic recipes were made public. They had different ranks based on their effectiveness. Generally speaking, low grade potions could heal skin cuts and light burns, medium grade potions could heal deeper cuts, bone fractures and also diseases overnight.

High-grade recovery potions could heal severed limbs (if the severed part was still there), nerve damage and even organ damage, so they could fully heal even grave illness.

There was one higher rank of recovery potions, the so-called “super grade magic recovery potions”. This category, however, included a wide variety of recovery potions with incredibly powerful effects.

For example, some healed lost body parts, others healed any kind of sickness, then there were even some called “Divine grade”, potions who could heal any kind of damage, but they were said to be lost, along with their recipes. Legendary potions worth their “divine” moniker.

“This is a super grade recovery potion specialized for healing old wounds.”

What is this guy saying? Is he an idiot? 

Chuck mentally reacted violently to Roa’s words. Once closed, a wound would remain for life, no matter how inconvenient it was. Magic recovery potions had to be drunk before the body’s normal healing abilities kicked in. 

If not, the potion would mistake the body’s partially healed state as the “normal state”, so there would be no effect. That was the limit of magic recovery potions, a wall that seemed easy but was actually almost impossible to overcome.

If an already healed body part presented problems, in order to heal it you needed to cut it with a knife, create a new wound and then use a recovery potion on it. Such a method existed, but you couldn’t call it healing old wounds. Moreover, it involved causing a wound larger than the original one, so depending on the body part it could be lethal.

Healing old wounds is only possible for super….wait?

Chuck realized that he had fallen into confusion. What Roa said was perfectly right.

A super grade magic recovery potion specialized in healing old wounds could be able to heal old wounds that closed in an imperfect state. Chuck’s common sense, however, could not accept that such a thing existed so easily. Nor that he could ever lay eyes on one, or that a brat not even in his twenties had one with him.

“That’s….super…? Old wounds…?”

Chuck tried reasoning, despite his confusion. Roa and Coralde waited patiently until he calmed down. Maybe not Roa, but Coralde understood very well how he felt. He had tasted the same confusion when one day, Roa suddenly told him “I made a super grade recovery potion, is there anyone that could experiment with it?”.

Roa’s question was as casual as asking someone if they wanted some stew because they had cooked too much of it. That was why Coralde looked warmly at Chuck’s confused state.

Since Roa returned from the Aldon forest, it was one surprise after another for Coralde. And all of them defied common sense. Coralde looked at the confused Chuck and sighed.

After a while…

Chuck finally regained his composure: it had taken 6 more cups of rosehip tea, so he felt a little sick after drinking so much.

“….you will really fix my leg with that?”

Chuck looked inquiringly at Roa; maybe there was still some doubt in him. Because of a wound he received a long time ago, his leg didn’t move well. Because of that he retired from his escorting job and became a coachman.

“I asked Mr. Coralde to appraise it, so it will definitely heal. Just…”

“Just?”

Here’s the catch, finally! So Chuck seemed to think when he immediately picked up on Roa’s words. There had to be a downside somewhere.

“I can’t predict what may happen during the healing process. In order to confirm it, I wanted you to try drinking it, Mr. Chuck.”

“What may happen?”

“There’s the possibility that you might feel extreme pain or experience high fever, for example. Of course, once it fully heals that should end too. Mr. Coralde’s appraisal found no mention of side effects, so I think you can trust us on this.”

“That’s it…?”

Chuck sighed with relief. No matter what happened during the recovery potion’s process, if ultimately the wound healed, then he could take anything. Thanks to his experience as an adventurer and escort, his resilience was tried and tested.

“What do you say? Will you try it?”

Chuck quickly replied “yes”. Roa then continued, as casually as before.

“Here you go, then.”

“Eh? But I need to mentally prepare…”

“For drinking a recovery potion?”

“But isn’t it very precious…?”

“I got a little carried away when I made it, so I have at least 10 more!”

“Ten!? You’re…you’re kidding, right? You could buy a small town with ten! Right!?”

“Now you must be the one joking. It’s just medicine! If the recipe exists, it’s not hard to make either. If it causes any pain I want to improve it, so please drink it quickly.”

“Haah….”

“Please, drink.”

Chuck opposed Roa’s insistence of making him drink the potion quickly, but to no avail. Roa was treating him just like a child that loathed drinking bitter medicine. He looked at Coralde to save him from Roa’s persistence, but the merchant was sipping on his herbal tea, a look of surrender on his face.

Roa didn’t mean to be stubborn, but his sense of value was simply completely different than Chuck’s. Roa saw it as any other recovery potion, that anyone could make as long as they had the right ingredients. The only reason why he made super grade magic recovery potions specialized in healing old wounds was only because he had enough ingredients to do so.

The most important ingredient was Holy Water, the others were easy to acquire. For the current Roa, Holy Water was as easily available as *warm water*, so there was no reason not to try making the potion.

After he made the potion, however, as per usual he tended to have a poor opinion of anything he made himself. No matter how much other people would say it was valuable, for Roa it was something he made himself, so it wasn’t anything special. It was a horrible habit, but it seeped into his sense of self, so it would be very difficult to fix.

“I see, if you start feeling in pain or get a fever, you might fall and get hurt, that would be a problem…I’m sorry, but could you drink it in front of that straw bed?”

“Haah….”

Chuck thus had to stand up and walk to the pile of straw. It was Grandpa Gry’s bed, but he had no way of knowing.

“Please drink it, then.”

“….yes.”

How many luxury villas can you build with this…?

So thought Chuck as he took one proud swig of the bottle’s contents.

“Bhah!!”

Chuck drank it all and exhaled. He waited for a few seconds, while Roa and Coralde watched over him, but nothing happened.

“Er…nothing…”

As he was about to say that nothing changed…it did.

“Ouch…gah…”

Pain jolted through his wounded leg, so he fell to his knees. It felt like his leg was being ripped from the ankle.

All the muscles in his leg cramped to the point that he couldn’t stand it anymore and collapsed onto the straw. Roa hurriedly supported his body, but Chuck was in so much pain that he didn’t notice it. Sweat burst from all pores, he felt like not only his heart, but his whole body was beating violently. He clenched his teeth so hard that they might even break, scattering the straw everywhere.

“Are you okay!?”

“Chuck!! Are you alright!?”

Not only Roa, but Coralde was at his side too, trying to hold his violently shaking body. Then, as quickly and suddenly as it struck, the pain disappeared.

“….what?”

It was so sudden that it took Chuck by surprise. He had returned to a completely normal state, as if the violent pain until moments ago was nothing but a dream. The only sign that it wasn’t was the sweat that still covered his body, but nothing else.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes…I am…okay.”

Chuck moved his body slowly, making sure nothing was wrong. The uncomfortable feeling in his leg had disappeared too.

“Can you try standing up?”

Chuck followed Roa’s instructions and stood up. His leg moved without any trouble. No stiffness, no dullness, no uneasiness in leaning on it.

After standing up, Chuck tried hopping in place. Before, he would lose his balance and stumble, but nothing of the sort happened.

“….ooohhh!!! It’s healed!! Chuck has healed!!”

Coralde cheered.

Chuck continued jumping, as tears streamed down his cheeks. His tears scattered everywhere as he did, but he couldn’t care less. He tried jumping and shuffling, even mimicking a sword fight, but there was no problem at all. He could move just like he did in the past. That alone filled him with joy.

“Looks like it really healed well. But that pain seemed really extreme…I wonder if I can improve the medicine so that it doesn’t hurt?”

“Thank you!! Thank you very much!!! You’re amazing!! You’re a genius!!”

Roa was already thinking about what to do next, but Chuck took his hands and shook them, thanking him among the tears. Chuck was so moved that he opened his arms wide and was about to embrace Roa, when…

He felt an extremely powerful pressure from behind.

“Ah, Grandpa Gry.”

Chuck turned around.

<What are you lot doing on my bed?>

Chuck couldn’t hear what it said, but the sudden appearance of the high-rank magic beast surprised him so much that he lost his consciousness and collapsed on the straw bed, again.

𑁋

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