Healer Leone 1
My name is, Leone Viola Meredith
I work as a healer.
A healer is someone who is to be present at the moment a new life’s torch is lit.
A healer is someone who is to be present at the moment a life’s torch is extinguished.
A healer is someone who is to watch over a person’s life.
Although it may be nothing more than an obsolete speech, I believe that I have become a healer as my role by the guidance of the heavens.
Without realising that is a mistake…….
I was born in a small farming village in Sherfield Kingdom.
With my birth followed both joy and grief.
My father was a person born in Sherfield Kingdom, and when he was young, used to work for a noble’s house in the royal capital, Laurelier.
There he met my mother, and after they eloped and arrived at this small farming village, I was born.
My mother wasn’t born in Sherfield Kingdom; she was a former citizen of Elphilia Kingdom, who received the protection of the male God of the Sun.
Healing and prophesying, music and the like, it’s a country with a lot of mysterious divine protections.
That’s why Elphilia Kingdom has a lot of people who can perform healing magic, compared to other countries.
I heard that my mother also, according to that tradition, could perform healing magic.
The main shortcoming of magic is that, though it can be used to heal people, you cannot use magic on yourself.
A few days after giving birth to me, my mother died in postpartum confinement.
I was later told that, although my father was overwhelmed by sadness, I, who looked exactly like my mother, gave him the will to live.
Since I was born in Shelfield Kingdom, I received the protection of the Goddess of beauty, love, and bountiful harvests, which influenced my appearance.
Well, I was curious about my nose being a bit low despite that.
My father said that my amber hair and verdant green eyes are the same as my mother’s.
But above all that is the fact that my curiosity was sated after hearing that my slightly low nose is also exactly like my mother.
And that made me happy.
Because, although I don’t have any recollection of my mother, whenever I look at my reflection in the water, I can see her.
But, although I should have had the potential to be able to use healing magic like my mother, I was unable to use it.
Because of that, my father said that he’s happier that I can’t use it.
At that time, I was too young to understand.
All that I thought at that time was, irritatingly, that I couldn’t heal my childhood friend, Rou, who was prone to injuries.
At the time since I gained awareness of my surroundings, excluding my father, I was always with a certain person.
That person was my same-age next-door neighbour, Rou.
I grew up suckling on Rou’s mother’s breasts, since I had lost my mother.
You could say that Rou and I were foster siblings.
We ran around the countryside together, climbed trees together, we played knight together, no matter what we did, it was always together.
Everyone took it as normal that we were always together.
Everyone called me a tomboy because I was always playing the same games with Rou, a boy.
The girls were always asking me to make patchwork clothes or play with dolls, but I thought of those as boring.
But the main reason I didn’t do it was because I couldn’t play together with Rou like that.
But my body couldn’t keep up with those boyish activities, and I came up with fevers and had to stay in bed a lot.
I was irritated at my body, and its weakness.
But Rou always came to my room to play and entertain me.
And, mysteriously, my irritation fades.
‘I’m sure that Rou will use some lovely kind of magic on me’, I seriously thought at that time.
When I was 10, I came up with the worst fever yet, and was forced to stay in bed.
According to my father, because of that high fever, I lost consciousness and my life was in danger.
I can’t remember it at all now.
But, instead I can vividly, even now, remember something else.
That is because, it was what led me to, and became, my first step towards becoming a healer.
I was wandering through darkness.
No matter where I looked, all I could see was a world consisting of only a never-ending expanse of black.
If it was night then there should have been the light of the moon and stars, gently, and kindly, lighting the world up, but there, what we know as ‘light’ didn’t exist at all.
I was looking around that true darkness, and getting scared, started crying out my father and Rou’s names while searching endlessly for an exit.
I wonder how much time had passed.
I grew tired of crying out and wandering, and fell into despair.
I don’t know why, but my instincts told me.
There is only death.
That this is the grasp of death.
Realising that, I fell to my knees, sitting in a daze, alone in the darkness.
Then suddenly, someone firmly grabs my right hand and pulls me up.
The power that they pulled my hand with was strong, and I wondered who it was that I was being almost dragged by through the darkness.
I tried to strain my eyes to see who it was, but in that world of darkness with no light source, I couldn’t tell at all.
If that was a normal situation, and I was grabbed by someone who I didn’t know’s hand, I would have probably shaken it off.
But, at that time, I found relief in that hand.
At the fact that I was no longer alone.
I ran, while being guided by that hand.
While my body should have long past become exhausted, I, without knowing how I had that much extra energy, ran.
After running for a while, I saw a single line of light in the direction we were going.
This time, instead of being guided, I grabbed the hand and ran by my own will to that light, as if being guided there.
In that instant, I was wrapped in the blinding light, and the darkness disappeared behind me.
My eyes, which had gotten used to the darkness were unable to stand the strength of the light, and I closed my eyes as they stinged.
And then I heard a voice.
『Fulfill your role.』
As I wondered about that phrase, I forced my eyes open and what I saw was not the world of darkness from before, but my room that I was used to seeing.
And I felt warmth on my right hand, so I drop my gaze to that arm, and there, my hand was being gripped tightly by Rou.
「Leone! You’ve woken up!!」
He, while still holding my hand, sat on the floor and drew closer to the upper half of the bed
「Rou, were you holding my hand this entire time?」
I asked as I looked at my right hand, which he is still holding on to.
「If it wasn’t me who would it be. Don’t worry me like that!」
Although Rou is foul-mouthed, he has a kind heart.
After all, I can feel him trembling on my hand.
「Sorry for worrying you, Rou. But, didn’t my father tell you not to come in here?」
「Aren’t you happy to see me? I came in here in secret, hiding from that old man.」
I weakly shook my head.
I felt my heart warming up to Rou’s hand and words.
「Rou, thank you for being here and holding my hand.」
After that, I became able to use healing magic.
Even though I couldn’t use it even once before then.
And from then on, I, who used to have to stay in bed occasionally due to my tomboyish actions, never had to stay in bed again.
Because of that, I was mistaken as foolish.
「Hey, Rou. I can become a light to save people. I heard a voice.The voice told me 『Fulfill your role』. And after that, my healing magic suddenly bloomed. That has to be the word of God. It’s God’s will for me to become a healer!!」
I arrogantly put both hands on my hips.
I was fired up by my mission.
「Leone, as usual you seem to have your head stuck in the clouds. Look at reality.」
「Ah, but I’m serious. Nobody can stop me after all.」
I’m protected by God.
For some reason, I was convinced that was so.
Rou let out a sigh and looked at the sky.
「Well, when you say something, you’re stubborn about it. With your pure blond hair and verdant green eyes, you’re like a dandelion.」
Although it’s true that my hair and eye colour might be like a dandelion’s.
「Like how no matter how much you’re stepped on, you don’t give up.」
「Rou! What do you mean by that!?」
Rou would always tease me like that.
Even though just before that he was trembling, scared that he might lose me.
I shoved him down.
「Hey, stop that, Leone. That’s why you’re always called a tomboy. Well, if that’s the case, then I guess I’ll have to give it my all as well.」
Whose fault do you think it is that I became a tomboy?
Hm? Give your all??
I wondered about it, and then my body froze after realising.
「What are you going to give your all at, Rou?」
「Since you’re so reckless, how about I become your escort? I heard from the old man about how healers have their fair share of danger after all.」
「Rou as my escort!? So that means you’ll protect me?」
There aren’t many who can use healing magic.
In other words, healers are seen as a valuable commodity.
And for some reason there are more female healing magic users than male ones.
Women can’t compare to men in strength.
The first thing I did when I became able to use healing magic was tell my father about it, but when I did, he looked like he had aged a lot and his face distorted like he was in pain.
Since girls are so weak, they have to have someone to protect them. I heard a somewhat lonely voice saying ‘since I’m here now it’s fine, but girls grow up so fast……’.
It is a necessity for a healer to have an escort or guard.
「After all, Leone, you’re a tomboy. I’m sure no one else would look after you. Since I’ve got no choice, I guess I’ll become your escort, Leone. Be grateful.」
Rou, acting tough as usual.
I couldn’t hold back, I was so happy.
「Rou! Thank you!!」
I hugged Rou.
Rou faltered, and his sunburnt skin became slightly redder.
「Did you catch a cold?」
「It’s not a cold! Hey, Leone!! You need to fix that habit of hugging just anyone.」
「I don’t hug just anyone. Only Rou……and my father, I guess?」
Rou let out a bigger sigh than last time.
He murmured something like ‘This is why girls with no self-awareness are…’.
What a weirdo, haha.
「Ufufu, it’s a promise. I will save a lot of people. Rou, I’m counting on you to stay by my side and protect me.」
Rou said how that’s something that I would say, on that hill where dandelions blossom.
After that a lot happened, and I safely began my walk down the path of healers and Rou always stayed by my side as my guard.
And a deep affection came to bloom between us.
It was inevitable.
「Leone, we’re getting married. I’ve decided that I want to be by your side not just now, but forever more.」
The answer was obvious.
We vowed to be with each other forever.
But it also began with that vow on that hill.
It being what had already been determined.
We began wearing matching earrings on one of our ears each.
When we came to tell the news to our parents, they answered with ‘what are you saying after all this time’.
It seemed that the more we talked about it, the more our feelings came to be known by our surroundings.
Rou and I lived a happy life.
And then the time of destiny approached.
It was in a cold winter when I was 19.
My heart froze like ice, and since then time has also frozen and refuses to be thawed.
A winter that I could never forget.
「Her fever isn’t going down.」
In a certain small village, I was looking at a small girl.
That girl’s name was Emilia.
At first, it was Emilia’s grandfather. He had come down with a cold, and his fever refused to go down. He passed away, his elderly body being unable to handle the high fever.
Eventually Emilia and her parents also caught it, and it spread even to their neighbours, deceased appearing all over town.
I then came to hear such a rumour, and headed to that small village that was covered in a veil of death.
I put my hand on Emilia’s forehead, and as I pray, imagine in my head her fever dispersing from her body.
「Hear me, fever. Leave this girl. Grant her peace.」
If it was any normal cold, like that the fever would gradually lessen and she would be healed.
But that was the sixth time I had used that magic on Emilia.
Still, she showed no signs of recovery.
That was a first for me.
I felt a bad premonition, and as alarms ring in my head, I pretend not to hear them.
I was not the first to hear this rumour and stop by this village. Before me, Selia-sama, an elderly healer, also stopped by.
At the beginning Selia-sama was looking after patients, but recently she had been unable to perform examinations and had been stuck in her room due to her elderly body.
Although she hadn’t examined any patients recently at the time, her experience as a healer exceeded mine.
Since she didn’t say anything, I convinced myself that everything was fine.
「Healer oneechan, will I get better soon? Will I go to the land in the sky like ojiichan……it’s scary.」
Emilia started letting out large tears.
To have to be scared of death at that age…….
「Of course you’ll get better in no time. Who do you think’s looking after you? I’m a healer.」
I wiped away Emilia’s tears with my finger.
To relieve her fear, even if it’s only a little.
「That’s right. After all, oneechan is a healer-sama. You can heal me too. It’s a promise.」
Until just before, she was frozen stiff, but she had got back her cute smile.
「Of course. I will definitely heal you.」
「Thank you, healer oneechan.」
We both laughed.
And then there was a knock on the door.
When I turned around to face the door, I heard a voice from the other side.
「Leone, mind a moment? Selia-sama is calling for you.」
「Okay, Rou. Just wait a moment. ……Then, Emilia, I’ll be right back. I need to go, since I was called for.」
I turned back to face the girl lying on the bed, and stroked her head.
「Okay. I’ll try my best to get even just a bit better for when you come back, healer oneechan.」
「Alright, I’ll be looking forward to it.」
I said goodbye to Emilia, and leave the room.
And there rou was standing in an imposing pose, waiting for me.
「If you’re here, then Selia-sama’s escort, Giese-san is back, right?」
「Yeah, that’s right. Also, about him, it seems he has something important to say to you. He’s clearing people out of the village chief’s house. We’re going, Leone.」
Rou said and began walking.
So I didn’t fall behind, I started following.
「I wonder, did the Feudal Lord end up helping us?」
「Hey, Rou. You don’t need to get that angry.」
「I’m your escort.」
Actually for the past two days Rou wasn’t acting as my escort, but rather he was asked to be Selia-sama’s guard.
Of course Selia-sama had Giese-san as a guard, but thinking of the village people who couldn’t be healed, Selia-sama implored Giese-san to try to arrange for medicine from the feudal lord.
That being the case, since I was still young I could run and oppose, but that would be difficult for the elderly Selia-sama.
That’s why Rou was requested to be Selia-sama’s guard.
But since Selia-sama had recently been stuck inside, Rou said that it would be fine leading to him getting into a fight.
It concluded with Rou slowly being forced to yield, and he was made to be Selia-sama’s guard.
「Right now the village people are stuck in bed, but even without that the village was originally a peaceful village. And nothing dangerous has happened, right?」
「It would be too late if, and once, something happens to Leone.」
Although imprudent, that curt way of speaking showed how much he was worried about me, and it made me happy.
「I’m sorry for always worrying you, Rou.」
「It’s fine if you understand.」
Rou’s normal walking speed was actually faster than at that time.
But he would always match my speed for me.
Thank you, Rou.
And like that, the two of us arrived at the village chief’s house.
There, only Selia-sama and Giese, Rou, and myself were there.
「Missy, thank you for coming. And thank you too Rou for bringing the missy over.」
Even though I was already of age, Celia-sama still called me ‘missy’.
Well, thinking of Selia-sama’s age I might have been a ‘missy’, but that didn’t make me feel any better.
It felt like I wasn’t being fully accepted as an adult.
「So what is this important discussion that you called me for? To even go out of the way to clear out everyone from here……」
An alarm rang in my head.
As if to say that I mustn’t listen any more.
「Missy, it is impossible to heal the people of this town.」
「-!? Why is that? It’s just a cold. It’s just a bit more resilient than normal.」
Selia-sama shook her head in silence.
「Missy, this isn’t any normal illness. It is a fever-inducing miasma that appears only once every few decades. Especially recently, outbreaks of this miasma have been becoming more common.」
「A fever-inducing miasma!? That’s……Something……There has to be some way!!」
That is an unknown thing that humans cannot fight against.
「No matter what we ordinary people do, we cannot do anything to miasma. There’s nothing we can do but give up. That’s why I sent a message to the Feudal Lord. There is only one way to stop it. That is to sever the root of evil. In time, this place will be blocked off.」
But that’s……Then, what will happen to Emilia?
What about her parents?
What about the people of this village?
There are still people here that haven’t caught the miasma.
My hands, my feet, my whole body shook without stopping.
「Missy, listen good. We are precious ‘healers’. And we have yet to catch the miasma. The Feudal Lord has given permission for only us to leave this village. Taking advantage of the darkness, we will leave this village at midnight together with our escorts. Although it may seem heartless, this is the correct treatment measure. Do you understand, missy?」
After that, Selia-sama talked to me about a lot of things, but I could no longer hear her words.
Selia-sama and Giese-san realised my mental state and, while leaving the room, sighed.
Are you saying that, although there are people that deserve to be healed, we should abandon them?
Oh God, is this an ordeal granted unto me by You?