Iren, who was listening to the exchange between Mizer and Miko Arian, is suddenly caught by Miko Arian’s gaze and her eyes blinking. Nevertheless, she listened to the conversation properly and managed to reply.
「I-If there’s anything I can do... Should I be looking for materials?」
And Miko Arian’s answer is a gentle smile to Iren, who can only think of what she can do to help.
「No. But I want to use the archive room. I need this to tell you something in private... May I borrow her for a moment?」
「...depending on the subject. What do you want to talk about with Iren-kun? As Branch Chief, I’m responsible for managing the staff」
Although it was unlikely that the Goddess’ Priestess would do anything to harm Iren, it would be unacceptable if she forced her to do something terrible, so Mizer questioned Miko Arian’s intentions. Moreover, there are some people in this world who are willing to pay a price for their powerful effects. So, be wary and stay out of trouble.
「To get through this situation, I will give her the strength to fight. After all, there is a way to alleviate her condition, though it will only be temporary. But I can’t tell you how to do it because it’s classified information...」
「What... alleviate... my... condition...?」
「How is that possible...!?」
Iren, who had been suffering from the aftereffects of the Breathless Disease, was stunned by Miko Arian’s unexpected words, while Mizer, who knew of her affliction, muttered in astonishment. Then, as the adventurers who didn’t know what was going on looked at him in confusion, Miko Arian asked again.
「Branch Leader, if I may? I’d like to treat her before the monsters attack again...」
Miko Arian’s proposal was like a dream come true for Iren, who had given up on being an adventurer because she thought she would never be able to use magic again. On the other hand, Mizer, who knew her well, could not say no to her expectant gaze.
「Please take care of Iren-kun」
With that, Mizer entrusted Iren to Miko Arian.
However, if he knew the specifics, he would not have entrusted her, but he had no way to know that, and he only expected to increase their strength to overcome this situation.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
As Miko Arian and Iren enter the archive room from the hall, Sylphy and Marie are standing guard in front of it.
Upon entering the room, Iren immediately noticed that there were already people there. Shinji, who had been transferred by Flair earlier, greets them. He is the first to get down on one knee and show respect to Miko Arian as an Apostle. And because of Iren’s presence, he wanted to show their relationship as Miko and the Apostle.
「Miko-sama. We’ve been waiting for you」
「Apostle Shinji, please explain to her」
Iren looked at Shinji in surprise as he stood up and nodded. After all, the Miko had called him an Apostle. And because of that, there is no doubt in her mind that Shinji is an Apostle.
「Yes. ...Now, Iren. First of all, I need you to promise not to tell anyone about what I’m about to tell you about how to temporarily heal your aftereffects and that I’m an Apostle, okay?」
「Yes. ...I promise not to tell anyone」
After confirming her aggreement, Shinji pulls out a scroll from his pocket. Iren, who has no reason to be afraid now, takes the scroll from Shinji. When she reads it, the content inside is a penalty for breaking the vow by leaving the mundane world and entrusting her body to the temple, and Iren nods without hesitation. Immediately, the vow scroll flared up and took effect.
「Now, Iren-san, I will tell you the reason why you cannot use magic」
Shinji spoke of the existence of the magical pores in the human body. He said that if he could reopen the magic pores that had been closed due to the Breathless Disease, Iren would be able to use magic.
This story is too far-fetched. However, if this story is correct, there is a possibility that various outrageous researches will be carried out, and it makes sense to keep quiet about it. That’s how dangerous it is to talk about the possibility of increasing the amount of magic power that can be acquired, Iren thought.
「I’m relieved that you understand the danger, Iren-san. Now, may I ask for your help first?」
Shinji smiled calmly and held out one hand. Iren placed her right hand on top of that hand, and Shinji placed his other hand between hers.
Using the magic he borrowed from Freri, Shinji imagines an invisible, tiny hole in her skin and covers the skin of Iren’s hand with magic.
At first, Iren felt nothing, but as time passed, she felt a slight revival of the sensation she had long forgotten in the hand Shinji was touching. It’s the sensation of magic leaving her body, a feeling that had been normal when she had been able to use magic before the aftereffects.
And because of the feeling, Iren is able to realize that she might actually be able to manage her aftereffects, and her eyes moisten. As the first attempt went well, Shinji, with a feeling of inner relief, let go of her hand.
「Really... It’s amazing... I can generate magic power now...」
「This will take care of the aftereffects, if you can believe it. However... I need to touch Iren-san’s whole body as well」
Iren, who was in tears, soon retracted her tears. Then, Iren’s cheeks slowly flushed as she looked at Shinji with a very unhappy expression on her face.
Still, she understood that she needed to be touched all over by Shinji in order to heal.
「Isn’t there anyone else who can do it?」
「I’m sorry, but currently, I’m the only one who can do it. So, if you can’t handle it, we can stop. And as long as you keep your mouth shut about what I just said, you won’t have any problem with it」
Shinji looks at Miko Arian as he says this. The look in his eyes seemed to say, "Of course it’s impossible". Iren, who saw this, guessed that he didn’t mean it either. In fact, he did.
「Iren-san, we will respect your wishes...」
If she refuses, she won’t be blamed. But Miko Arian’s murmur made Iren think.
She was in love with Mizer, and she felt she should refuse. But more than that, there is the allure of being able to use magic again, the sense of responsibility to face the threat before her as a fellow Hateyama staff member. More than anything, the thought of Alvin, the embodiment of her former dream, rekindling in her mind, pushed her back.
「...I’ll do it. Right now, I need every bit of strength I can get」
Having made up her mind, Iren affirmed clearly, though her cheeks are blushing.
A story in the reference room, an introduction.
The next chapter is about Iren’s treatment.
- There's a new project in the works. It's kind of Boku no Hero Academia, but with an adult twist. The table of contents can be found in here.