Translator and editor: SaltyTank
After changing into her new dress, Geraldine brought Jade to the medical room.
Jade’s jaw dropped the moment she saw what was going on—Andre’s arm was sliced open while Prommel was collecting his blood with small vials.
‘Calm down, they’re just collecting blood. This is usually my job actually.’
Having filled the last vial, Prommel sealed it with a wooden cork and placed it onto the metal stand nearby. Azure particles then emerged from his palm and enveloped Andre’s wound which was slowly sealing.
‘Only weapons covered in blood can hurt those monsters, so this is the only way.’
Andre sat up from the treatment couch. His arm was already as good as new.
‘Thanks Andre. You’re finally back after so long, yet I’m having you do my job.’
‘It’s nothing. If not for your support so far, our fights wouldn’t have gone so smoothly. Also, Prommel mentioned something about… having another kid? Congrats.’
‘Haha! You just had to talk about it. I was going to brag about it later.’ Geraldine chuckled in embarrassment and playfully pushed Prommel’s shoulders. The two were close for sure.
‘Big sis Geraldine, congratulations!’
‘Thanks, Jade! Do you like kids too? Ever thought of having one yourself?’
‘Ah, um, not really, it’s too soon for me…’
Jade’s bashful look amused the couple; even Andre grinned ever so slightly. It only served to make Jade feel more abashed; she had never thought of such stuff back in her previous village. She was only interested in taking care of others’ children.
After a bit of joking around, Geraldine took Andre’s place and lay on the treatment couch. Jade then realised they were going to collect Geraldine’s blood. She grimaced as Prommel skillfully sterilised his scalpel.
‘Don’t worry, little sis Jade, I’ve eaten brain cores also.’ Geraldine could understand how Jade felt. With a gentle smile, she explained, ‘My ability is “Healthiness”, it’s quite the bargain actually. As long as I eat my share of brain cores monthly, I’ll always be in top form. Cuts and wounds will heal just from a night’s sleep!’
Geraldine pulled down her collar slightly to reveal an azure orb flickering on her chest near her heart—it was proof that magic was being used.
‘But still, even if you have magic…’ Jade wanted to say something but was cut short by Geraldine.
‘Argh, it’s all right!’ Geraldine decided to use the ultimate trick up her sleeve. ‘Andre! Bring her away! Don’t disturb my smooching time with Prommel!’
She wrapped her arms around Prommel’s nape and acted like she was going to kiss him.
Even Andre felt embarrassed at her sweet joke, though he did find it amusing as well. He tapped Jade on her shoulders and signalled her to leave with him. Startled, Jade quickly bade the couple farewell and scuttled to catch up with Andre.
As they walked, Andre suddenly spoke, ‘Right.’
‘Your new dress, it looks nice.’
‘…!’ Jade had never expected Andre to say words of praise and was flabbergasted. ‘Th… Thanks.’
‘Hilde said it’s common courtesy but I keep forgetting about it. She’s scolded me a few times already.’
Jade didn’t know what to say—even if it was just pleasantries, he didn’t have to so openly admit it. She felt like a fool for feeling delighted at his words.
As a result, the two stayed silent for the remainder of their walk. When they finally arrived at the common area, they came across Hilde who held two drowsy kids in her arms and was heading for the living room.
‘Those brats are tired already?’
‘Ya, they’ve been nagging me from back then. After playing around for only a while they’re already asking for a nap.’
Hilde rubbed her cheeks against theirs. Arnold and Lenora both let out incomprehensible murmurs.
‘Well, that’s because the brats’ boss is finally back.’
‘Hmph, at least it’s better than being scary big bro Andre!’ Hilde made a silly face at Andre. ‘Jade, come with me! Ignore him!’
Jade felt like a fallen leaf, going along with the flow in a whirlpool where she did not fit in at all. The people here were a lot more energetic and passionate than those in her previous village. Interacting with them was putting a strain on her mind. Though, she did not dislike things here. It was a lot better than being surrounded by pessimistic villagers who kept lamenting about their grim future, their minds filled with nothing but pessimistic thoughts.
‘Hey Hilde, don’t forget we’ll be heading out tomorrow. Let Jade rest earlier.’
Before they left, Andre did not forget to remind them once more, only to be dismissed by Hilde as though he was much of a hassle.
‘Heh, you should worry about yourself instead of others. Just wait and see.’
Hilde went off on her own, leaving Jade behind. She quickly bowed and thanked Andre, to which he nodded in response. Before she turned to leave, she noticed that Marie who had left the base a while ago had returned to the common area. The moment she saw Andre, she hurried over and tightly embraced him.
‘So slow,’ Marie muttered.
Jade immediately looked away at the shocking scene, though she was not sure what she was trying to hide from. Even she herself had no idea how she felt about her saviour Andre. Her mind was filled with troubling thoughts as she went over to Hilde’s room.
Before noticing it, she was already sitting on Hilde’s bed.
‘You look tired… Or are you feeling unwell?’
‘I’m fine… maybe.’
‘Really?’ Hilde tilted her head to look at Jade. ‘Well, tuck in earlier. Ah, it’s been a while since I’ve been staying here so the smell’s a bit…’
‘It’s fine, sleeping here is better than camping outside.’
‘Is that so… So my precious room is barely better than the wild.’
‘No! Uh, I didn’t mean that!’
‘Haha, was just messing with you, chill out.’
Hilde lovingly stroked Jade’s head and gave her a hug—perhaps because she had been taking care of the kids just now, she was still in her parenting mode and thus treated Jade the same way. It was a bit embarrassing, but given Hilde’s passionate personality, Jade could only let her pamper herself.
‘Ah, if all’s good then I’ll catch ya later. Nighty night!’
Unexpectedly, Hilde settled Jade then waved and turned to leave the room.
‘Eh? You’re not sleeping here tonight? I’ll feel bad about it…’
‘Uh… About that…’ Hilde hesitated for a moment then started blushing. ‘It’s not that! How… How should I put it?’
‘I can’t let Marie get too arrogant, I’ll have to… supervise them! In Andre’s room!’
‘Su… supervise? Why?’
‘Join the fray, regain dominance, something like that.’
Jade thought for a moment she had heard it wrong and her mind went blank.
‘Um… You and Andre, and also Miss Marie, do you three have… that kind of relationship?’
‘It’s kinda embarrassing to say it myself,’ Hilde showed a sheepish smile. ‘I’ve been following Andre together with Marie since we were kids, for over a decade now I think? It can’t always just be all about fighting and killing… Something like that?’
‘Oh, uh… I guess.’
‘Also, there are times when you feel lonely as a human.’