Lacking Blood


There’s something I’d like to ask you」


  It was three days after I made Iria drink the improved antidote when Priest Sarah said that to me.


  At first, I didn’t hear the priest’s voice.


  That’s because I was completely distracted by something else.


  The antidote that Iria drank three days ago was effective immediately, and it got rid of the various symptoms from the poison.


  Everything was good up to that point―― but her symptoms returned today.


  The fact that happened has big implications to it.
It’s because I’ve been thinking about that that I did not hear the priest’s voice.






  ――I couldn’t react when both of my cheeks were grabbed either.


  As I blinked repeatedly, the black-haired priest was standing in front of me with a serious expression.
Needless to say, her slender hands were pinching my cheeks. 


  From a third person’s point of view, it might look like we were flirting with each other


  After she took her hands off my cheeks, I asked her what she was doing directly as I rubbed them.


  「……Ermm, what was that just now, Ms.priest?」


  「Since you weren’t answering me, I tried using a little force」


  「Eh, you were talking to me?! I’m sorry, I was kind of thinking about something…」 


  It appears that I was too caught up in my thoughts so I ended up ignoring the person in front of me.
I apologized to her quickly after realizing that. 


  Luckily, she accepted my apology right away with a bright smile.


  By the way, the priest is about half a head shorter than I am, so when she looks up at me from a close distance, she has to look up slightly. 


  She sure looks even more charming when she smiles in this position――While thoughts like that appeared in my mind, I let out a clear cough. 


   「So, what did you need me for?」


  「There’s something I want to ask you」


  Priest Sarah answered as she renewed her seriousness.
However, she immediately followed up with an apologetic tone.


  「But, I don’t mind doing this later if you’re tired.
It was rough making round-trips from Ishka, right?」


  Just as the priest said, I have made two trips to Ishka within the last three days.


  It was to check on the situation of the stampede as well as to inform Ishka’s government office about the spread of the hydra’s poison.


  The priest is probably worrying about the condition of my body since she knows that.


  I am grateful for her consideration.
But to be honest, making round trips between Ishka and the village of Melte didn’t really put much of a burden on me.


  What I am concerned about is Iria’s condition.




  The antidote that was improved with my blood fought off the hydra poison temporarily, but it started to act up again after three days.


  It was effective but then the symptoms returned――Regarding that point, the improved antidote had the same end result as normal antidotes and recovery magic.  


  However, it only takes about half a day for the symptoms to return when it’s the normal version of the antidote, so we can see that the effectiveness of the improved version is there since it managed to suppress the poison for three days.


  With some simple calculations, we’ll need 10 improved antidotes a month.
If we have just that much antidote, a person would be able to live even if they are infected with the hydra poison.


  This could be called good news.


  However, if the same thing is taken over and over, the effectiveness will definitely dwindle like the other medicines and magic.
The time period it’ll be able to suppress the symptoms for will start to shorten as well.  


  Therefore, we’re still far from having a complete cure.
It’s just that at the very least, we won’t have to worry about what to do for the near future.


  From what I saw this morning, Iria’s bruises, festering, and swelling have come down a lot.
To a young woman, those things are as important as their life in a sense.
I felt pretty relieved about that as well.


  But rather than for Iria, I was relieved for her mother-Priest Sarah, and the little kids. 


  ――It was a happy ending there.


  But even though the immediate danger was gone, a new problem had arisen at the end as well.


  A person who’s infected with the hydra poison would need 10 antidotes in a month.
That’s 120 antidotes in a year.


  That’s not too big of a deal if it’s just Iria alone.


  However, there are 5 other people in this village who started to show the same symptoms as Iria.
Which means we’ll need 60 antidotes in a month, 720 in a year.


  Those 720 antidotes will all need to be mixed with my blood.


  And that’s only the minimum amount we’ll need so far.


  Like I said before, the new antidote suppresses the symptoms for 3 days; this number could get smaller but it will never get bigger.
From here on, the number of antidotes we’ll actually need will surely be increasing. 


  Since the poison has been flowing with the river’s water, there will definitely be more people who’ll be infected by it.


  Furthermore, since even the village of Melte that is located downstream of the river has victims, the villages and towns upstream should have even more.


  If we want to save everyone who gets infected, the number of antidotes we’ll need could be in the 10 or 20 thousand range.
Just how much of my blood will I need to give to make this many antidotes? 


  ――Basically, this is the new problem that came up.
I don’t have enough blood no matter how I think about it.


  Without my blood, we can’t make the improved version of the antidotes.


  What should I do? This is a question that I―― did not fret over that much.
After all, I have no intention to help everyone until I turn into a mummy.


  Even in the village of Melte, I only want to help Priest Sarah and the three kids.
Iria is included because I can’t say no in front of the priest and the kids, and since I have to keep my promise with Miroslav, Larz is barely included in there as well.


  As for the other villagers…I’m sorry but they’re not my responsibility.


  This time, I will provide them with the improved antidotes that I brought with me, but they’ll just have to figure something out on their own in the future somehow.



  It’s just that…the villagers probably wouldn’t like that.
They will definitely demand to be treated as well.


  If I were to refuse them, what awaits would probably be deafening criticism.
No, that wouldn’t be the only thing.
It will surely turn into a wild scene.


  To me, it doesn’t matter what they’ll say or do to me…but the problem is when the spear of condemnation is pointed at people other than me.


  The most likely target would be Priest Sarah.
She’s a priest of the god of law, and as Iria’s mother, that position alone could result in her being strongly criticized.


  ――“You’re a priest of the god of law sect, yet you’re okay with that as long as your daughter is saved?!”


  I can’t bear the thought of her being criticized by the villagers like that.


  I already know that telling the villagers that Priest Sarah is in no way involved with my decision isn’t going to do anything.
In the worst case, even the kids will get caught up in the drama.


  The quickest method to avoid that situation would be to bring everyone to Ishka.
I have thought up a legit excuse for that as well.


  To gather our fighting power for the stampede.


  For me who had contributed greatly to the village of Melte, if I use that great cause as the reason, no villagers would be able to say no.
It would be easy to take Priest Sarah and Iria out of the village.


  If I do that, the priest and the kids will not get blamed.


  Everything would be solved――is what I’d like to say, but there will still be an issue.


  That is Priest Sarah is not going to agree with my idea.


  Once she sees the full plan, Priest Sarah will surely come to a different decision. 


  She’ll probably entrust Iria to me and return to the village alone by herself.
She’s not going to care when I tell her how the villagers will victimize her.
I’m sure she will tell them the truth and face their anger head-on.
She will probably take my share of the blame too. 


  Just how do I prevent that from happening?――That is exactly the problem I’m brooding over.


  Considering Priest Sarah’s personality, she probably wouldn’t be able to stay quiet after finding out about the truth.


  Then do I just continue to hide the truth from her? However, I have to say that’ll be difficult.
The truth will eventually leak out.


  Better yet, should I use the fact that I helped Iria to forcefully make her mine?


  If I turn her into my slave like Lunamaria with that as the reason, even if she finds out about the truth, I would be able to force her to stay in Ishka.


  ……Well, the price for that would be being hated by her for the rest of her life.


  Ughh, I don’t want to think about that.
It makes my heart ache from just imagining that.
Yeah, scratch that, that’s a no-go.  


  I put an end to my conscienceless thoughts as my body trembled.




  Anyway, I didn’t notice Priest Sarah calling for me because I was thinking about all kinds of things.


  I neatly hid everything I thought about so far and asked her a question,


  「Thank you for worrying about me, but I’m fine.
So, what did you want to ask me?」


  「I see…So the other day, you told me that the new antidote has dragon blood mixed in it」


That’s right」


  「Judging from how Iria’s symptoms came back today, she’s going to need quite a lot of those antidotes…just how much dragon blood do you have left?」




  I was instinctively at a loss for words.
I never thought that she would be thinking about the same things as me――or maybe that’s an overstatement.
With the situation currently, it’s natural that she would notice the number of antidotes left.  


  Now then, how should I answer her?


  I think it’s clear from the question just now, but I still have not told her that my blood is the dragon’s blood.


  Since that is information that is directly related to my anima and soul equipment, there was no reason for me to tell her in detail even if it’s her.


  So, I should just lie to her here if I want.
Should I just say that there’s only enough blood left for Iria?


  But the truth will eventually come to light.
If I lie to her, she will definitely be disappointed in me.
I don’t want her to look at me with eyes of disappointment.


  ――Ugh, should I just come clean with everything?


  That thought suddenly entered my mind.
Since a long time ago, I’ve always thought too hard about things and nothing good ever came out of it.


  If I tell her the truth here, at least she won’t hate me for lying to her in the future.
Even with the problem that is the shortage of blood, maybe she will come up with some good ideas.


  More importantly, instead of being viewed as a cold-blooded person who just abandons other people, I will be perceived as a chivalrous person who will do everything he can to help people, so I will gain her favor too. 


  Under the pretense of solving the problem, I might be able to slowly bring her into my clan.


  ……Yes, that’s it.
Let’s try to help the most people I can without acting bad or smart.
If I have to abandon some people in the end then I can just do that when it comes to it later!


  The moment I decided that, my heart became strangely light.
I hadn’t really realized this myself, but the thought of abandoning everyone other than Iria had kind of put a toll on my heart. 


  It’s because I’m a kind person at heart――Nah, It’s probably because I’m a coward at heart.


  While thinking about that, I opened my mouth to reveal everything to Priest Sarah.

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