Chapter 018—Handicapped Humans (Part 3)

Translator and Editor: SaltyTank


‘Hah.’

After performing magic and physical treatments countless times, Prommel finally managed to patch up Hilde’s wounds. Although her injuries were no longer visible on the surface, some tissues that had not completely assimilated with brain cores and her mental fatigue could only recover over time.

‘It’s alright to come in now, you don’t have to stand there.’ Prommel covered a blanket over Hilde and shouted towards the person behind him.

Andre came in and said, ‘Prommel, thank you.’

‘I told you to have a good rest but instead you came back right on time. Don’t give me more work to do, okay?’

‘I’ve already rested enough.’

Prommel shook his head. It was almost dawn now. The treatment did take a fair while to complete, but it was rather lacking if one slept for the same duration. Knowing Andre’s temperament though, Prommel didn’t say anything more and simply patted his shoulders before turning to leave.

‘When she wakes up later, feed her the stuff on the desk. It tastes really bad, so I’ll leave it to you.’

‘Okay, I’ll force her to drink every last drop’

‘Hah, be a bit gentler with the injured okay? You guys can deal with it!’

Prommel left that behind and left.

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Only two sets of breathing sounds remained in the treatment room. Andre held Hilde’s hand; it felt a bit cold, but it was a lot better than when he had been carrying her back to the base. 

Gazing at her face, Andre was reminded of their past. Hilde and Marie back then had not recovered from their traumas for so long and simply followed Andre as they escaped further and further. Every night, they would tremble in fear, and Andre would hold their hands just like how he was holding Hilde’s hand now. It was his way of letting them know he was always by their side and would always protect them.

Until one day, Hilde started smiling again and she finally became an individual who could operate on her own. He hadn’t held her hand so gently ever since. Andre cherished and reminisced about those days, though at the same time he hoped they would never revert back to their past selves. It was a conflicting and mysterious feeling.

Still, Andre started to feel a bit annoyed.

‘It’s enough, when are you going to stop pretending?’

Although her expression remained the same, perhaps she was surprised by him suddenly speaking, Hilde’s palms twitched lightly and she was exposed.

‘Com’on…’ Hilde said weakly. ‘It’s a rare opportunity to have you focus just on me… I wanna enjoy that feeling.’

In fact, she had woken up a while back, but she decided to act like she hadn’t upon noticing Andre beside her.

‘Now’s not the time for this.’

‘Fine… Hmph.’

Andre helped her sit up on the bed and picked up the bowl of unknown purplish fluid. He had no idea what the contents were, but nothing could go wrong if Prommel told him to feed it to her.

‘Open your mouth.’

‘N, no—’

Hilde could smell the terrifying smell radiating from the bowl and started resisting naturally. Still, she could not muster the strength to keep out Andre and could only let him pour the disgusting medicine down her throat. She glared at him and stuck out her tongue, wanting to dissipate the taste.

‘It feels like I’m getting violated… But if it’s Andre…’

‘Enough,’ Andre sat up straight and said. ‘Be a bit more serious, it’s about time you tell us what you’ve discovered.’

Hilde had a bitter face; she originally wanted to act cute for a while more, but good times fly fast and she had to shift back to her more serious working self.

‘I met fully equipped monsters. They wear weird armour and hold strange spears.’

‘I saw those on the way to find you too.’

‘That so? But their magic is so much stronger than usual, it’s almost like a completely different thing. Even the cloak’s not enough to block it up front… I really almost died right there.’

‘Even stronger than the ones we fought just outside the base? This is bad.’ Andre thought about the increasingly difficult fights they were having and crossed his arms in grimace.

‘But more importantly, it’s the thing in the middle of the city…’

‘City centre? What’s special over there?’

‘Don’t know if you’re gonna believe it or not, but I found out that smog is actually something they make.’

‘S… smog?’

‘Smog.’

Andre thought he had heard it wrong, but Hilde repeated herself once more. He had never thought of the possibility; still, he nodded to signal her to go on.

‘It looks like this weird urn thing, and it’s made out of the same tissues found in the monsters. I couldn’t damage the inside at all with my dagger though, it’s way too eerie.’

‘Wait, you stabbed it?’

‘How would they have noticed if I haven’t?’ Hilde chuckled. ‘I was naive, thinking I could damage it sneakily.’

‘You…’ Andre really wanted to get mad at her but simply sighed and held it in.

‘Don’t be hasty okay? I got something really good out of it.’

‘Hm?’

‘I think I found out why they, or maybe even us, have strong recovery powers. There’s probably plenty of stuff we haven’t found out or have misunderstood for so long.’

‘What, what is it?’

Andre couldn’t help but hold his breath in anticipation, his voice noticeably strained. He could vaguely guess the answer already, for the discussion had been progressing in this direction; he just did not want to say it himself.

‘Right, I noticed that smog can repair their tissues. Or maybe, for those monsters, smog is something essential for them, just like how we must breathe in air and drink water.’


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