Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 44: Self-Sacrifice
To no effect, Vernell protected me and got stabbed by Crow.
What are you doing now…?
What would you do if the protagonist died doing that? It’s BAD END if you died, OY.
Since I had no other choice, I haphazardly shot a beam toward Crow-kun and erased it, pulled out the beak and then applied magic to stop the bleeding and heal the wound.
Lastly, I checked his breathing. I could handle anything, even heavy wounds. As long as they didn’t die, then I could still manage to save people.
Since Vernell possessed a Dark Power that kept its host alive, most things wouldn’t be able to kill him. He was fine for the moment, then. It shouldn’t be a problem.
Fumu… there’s no breath, and no pulse. There’s nothing to panic about.
No, wait. That’s not good. He’s dead now…
Eh? No, wai, you…
Yo, yo, yo!? Yooyoyoyoyoyoo!
Calm down! Calm down! Calm down!
I-i-it’s okay, he just died a little. The corpse was still fresh—it’s not something to be worried abobobobobobout…
“Lies… Ver? This is a lie right…?” said Eterna, with tears flowing down her cheeks. As stunned as she was, I also wanted to ask if this was all a lie.
It seemed that even with the Dark Power, it wasn’t good enough.
Well, we knew demons were capable of killing the Saint after all… so it’s natural that they could also kill Vernell.
He died even after his wound was healed, so it was probably an instant death.
He was struck straight into his heart, after all.
…The more I dwelt on it, the more I realized how dangerous this situation was. The story would be over once the protagonist dies, you see.
Err err… err… alright.
I could still save him. I already closed the wound, so the damage shouldn’t be able to reach the brain.
Sure, it was a fatal wound, but only a short period of time had passed since this temporary death. The human brain suffered irreversible hypoxia only after four to six minutes had passed after the breathing stopped.
If it was already at that point, then I wouldn’t have been able to save him, but we could also say he would survive as long as his brain was continuously supplied with oxygen.
It wasn’t a total death until the moment his heart stopped beating, because that’s when the brain died and irreversible death.
So when his heart stopped beating, I could still apply cardiopulmonary resuscitation immediately after so as to make his heart beat again. With this, he could still be saved.
Obviously, having one’s heart pierced would be considered as a sure kill, but the embodiment of a cheat was right next to him. His heart’s wound was already completely healed, to boot.
Alright then… let’s produce electricity by thunder magic to help make his heart beat again! On top of that, I placed my hand over Vernell’s lips to apply wind magic. This was to send in and pull out air to imitate breathing!
Now, come back Vernell!
Alright, he’s back!
Barely saved! What a save, Athlete Elrise!
We managed to score a full base home run to reverse the situation!
I somehow managed to successfully revive him, but the uphill battle was still going on as Vernell had yet to wake up. I didn’t expect there to be more problems, but as expected, it was quite difficult to revive the dead.
It was also my first time doing this, so I wasn’t sure if there was going to be a side effect later on. There was no room for error.
And so — Rapid Shot BEAM! Sorry, but all you demons need to die.
“Leila, bring Vernell-kun to the nearby church!”
After killing the demons, I left the clean up to other Knights then asked Leila to carry Vernell. Hospitals or clinics did not exist in this world because wondrous healing magic existed. Medical care was not developed and, in exchange, the people flocked to the church to pay them for healing services.
It might be weird to think about how you still needed to pay the church for those services, but…
Well, the church needed money to maintain itself. Such was the world. No need to think too hard about it.
Also, since this world’s church worshipped the Saint as a Religion, I was officially at the top.
This was why I could go around the place as I liked.
…Well, I was actually just the top in name. The actual person on top is a grandpa called the archbishop.
Since the Saint would eventually become the Witch, the Saint would never truly be on top of everything. Consequently, the Saint was kept by the church as a convenient symbol and idol.
Well, I was a fake, though.
Nonetheless, I could use the church as I liked.
After Vernell was carried to bed, I abused my authority by borrowing the kitchen — reason being: if I left them alone, they wouldn’t provide us with decent food.
The people in this church belonged to two extremes, first, the lower ranked people who basically didn’t know the truth behind everything and truly believed that the Saint was the one on the top.
They believed that living humbly was a true virtue, and so all they ate was food considered to be modest.
They did not eat fish nor meat, and the animal produce they consumed was limited to cheese.
So if we let those lower people cook, you’d end up misunderstanding that they could offer only an air of poverty and half-assed cooking.
Since they currently knew me as the Saint, I was invited several times to the church for feasts, but they were all terrible.
The menu was narrowed down to rock hard bread and some vegetables that had been very slightly touched by fire.
I’d always wanted to ask them how dare they call that cooking.
Meanwhile, the second group at the top of the church existed at the very core of authority. Inevitably, they lived in luxury and indulged in a lot of things.
They ate meat and fish even as they forbade those in the lower ranks to do so. This was because they didn’t want their portion to be reduced.
In any case, they wished to monopolize those delicious things they coveted, thus they told those people in lower positions that it was sinful to eat in luxury, making up rules on the fly.
When I was invited to one particular feast, it made me question what exactly that humble life they kept preaching to those people in lower posts was, even as those in higher positions ate all kinds of luxury foods right in front of them.
Well, it didn’t fit my palate anyway.
Basically, there was no decent ingredient in this kitchen
There were vegetables, low quality grain, some fruits, alcohol and water. There was also hard bread and cheese as preserved food.
If I were to feed the recently cured, or rather, the recently revived Vernell with such food, even this cherry tomato-sized conscience of mine would be prickled.
And so without further ado, let’s do some lazy cooking!
First, I picked some vegetable scraps that were supposed to be thrown away.
The lower ranked people along with Leila and other Knights expressed their confusion wordlessly with their expressions as if saying, “You intend to feed a sick person with such trash?” But I paid them no mind.
Next, I filled the pot with water, threw in the rinsed vegetable scraps as if thrown into a trash can, put some alcohol in and lit up the fire! With this, the unsavory scent of the vegetables disappeared quite a bit.
After that, I left it under a weak flame for around 20 minutes. What about the bitter taste, you say? Why must I go through the trouble to make it disappear? That would be too troublesome.
Finally, I strained in a colander.
The bachelor’s strongest ally, vegetable broth was complete!
It was cheap, easy, and fast to make. Additionally, it had decent nutrition in it while still being quite delicious
Okay, Leila, have a taste.
“Eh? But Elrise-sama… aren’t these, err, vegetable scraps that were about to be thrown away… basically, didn’t you just stew… trash?”
Now, that was rude.
Leila was originally from a noble house so she might have a wide palate. But as I pushed the spoon forward, she blushed and ate it nonetheless.
“Hmn…!? This… is delicious!? Even though you merely boiled some vegetable scraps…”
Well, sorry for that.
By the way, only a noble would call vegetable scraps as trash, while those who live in small villages would eat those normally.
In the first place, treating vegetable scraps as trash was just the narrow mindset of the privileged.
That kind of notion wasn’t healthy to keep, so I suggested to the church’s higher ups to give out vegetable broth to those who suffered in hunger.
On the church’s side, those vegetable scraps were already about to be thrown away anyway, so they wouldn’t suffer any losses whatsoever.
It would also improve the church’s image, so consequently they would be praised and they’d rake in more donations.
It was actually hard to do good deeds purely out of good will, since true good deeds were done without having to calculate gains and losses.
Anyone who did so would keep count, until one day, they’d be left with nothing.
The world was all about giving and taking. To do good deeds, one had to set up a way for it to be returned.
100% good deeds without any calculation or profit may look beautiful, but it was another question whether it would last long… see?
So for me, there was nothing more unbelievable than unprofitable good will.
Human weren’t made to be altruistic.
The church’s higher ups were also conscious of this fact, so they understood that my suggestion would end up as their profit.
They happily said they would try giving away vegetable broth tomorrow. With that, the church’s good will would skyrocket, and the masses would support the Saint’s church more as a result.
Well then, I think it was okay to give Vernell this much, but… let’s give him a little more.
To stimulate his appetite, I grated garlic with magic and threw it into the pot, and after that I poured in the vegetable broth from earlier before lighting the fire back up.
Then, I added in the rice while it boiled, keeping it under a steady boil until the water simmered.
Next, I added salt as light seasoning… I also turned the cheese into powder using magic and poured it on top to turn vegetable broth into something like risotto.
It was nutritious, and at the same time, it was light enough for a sick person to eat. It was a dish that anyone would eat often since the ingredients are easy to find.
I’m being too lazy, you say? … Shut it, men’s cooking is all about how much you could shave from the effort of preparation.
I actually wanted to add pepper, but people considered pepper a luxury in this world, so Vernell would have to be satisfied with just this.
As I finished cooking, a knight reported that Vernell had woken up.
This was great news, so I went to Vernell right away. I thought he’d stay asleep longer after all that happened, but for now, let’s give him a long and thorough sermon regarding how stupid he was for doing such a thing.
He didn’t have to protect me anymore since it was an absolutely useless thing to do.
But he talked back, saying, “Isn’t that no different than you fighting alone?”
So I bluntly replied that I could handle all of that alone.
Somehow, these people often listened to me in a distorted manner, hearing only what’s convenient for them rather than what I meant to do… so for once, I needed to say what I meant straightforwardly.
I’m fine alone! You guys are weak, so back off!
As I said that, as expected, he calmed down, but his favorability also went down, I guess? Well, whatever. This was better than dying.
At least, I gave him a heads-up, reminding him to treat his own body more importantly. Whew, weren’t I such a nice guy who cared very much about what people needed?
It wasn’t as if he took action without thinking about it, it was just that his body moved on its own before he noticed.
As the Greater Demon tried to attack as it flew, Elrise didn’t evade despite being capable of doing so. This was because there was a soldier frozen from fear behind her.
Perhaps he was a noble’s son who was conscripted to join the battle out of duty, but since he wasn’t used to the battlefield, he merely gawked at Elrise and retreated to the rear.
It was definitely a wise decision to fall back if he couldn’t contribute to the battle anyway, however as he did so, he became more of a burden to Elrise.
“If I evade the attack, the soldier behind me will die…” was what she must have thought, so instead of evading, she had spread her arms wide to serve as a shield for the soldier.
Vernell’s thoughts ran amok as he saw this.
Ah, again… once again, this person tried to protect another at the cost of her own well-being.
She wouldn’t abandon or give up on anyone.
She would always put others’ safety on top of her own, as her goodwill strived to serve without seeking profit while saving and protecting others.
It was truly a sight to behold; such a clear, beautiful sight, and yet it was all too fleeting.
The world was not so kind benevolent that anyone could live solely on kindness.
Human hearts were filled with greed and calculation, there was nothing beautiful beyond it, which is why truly good people, those without a shadow in their hearts, would live only fleeting lives.
The moment he thought of this was when his body moved on its own.
He was well aware that Elrise was strong since he had witnessed directly the moments when she fought.
He knew that she stood on a much higher place that he wouldn’t be able to reach.
Even when this Great Demon attacked, perhaps she could take it without problem all by herself, without anyone to protect her.
She would still be fine, and thus far she had shown her usual expression as if nothing had happened.
After calming down, Vernell would think back to this moment and realize that trying to protect Elrise would be for naught.
If he had stopped and analyzed the situation while weighing the pros and cons of the ordeal, then he’d know that the right answer was to fall back to the sidelines.
Even if he tried to protect her, he’d only get in her way.
But he had no such time, having been granted only a few seconds to make a decision… and so Vernell had chosen the wrong answer.
The pain that pierced him lasted only an instant, his sight being filled with darkness the next moment.
It was all just a moment, yet he somehow understood that he was dying. He truly felt it.
As he awoke, the first thing he felt was doubt.
While he did feel glad to have survived, even more than that, Vernell’s heart was filled with questions as to why he was still alive.
Even he had understood that it was an instant death—the feeling of his muscles being pierced, of his bones being crushed… of his heart being destroyed.
His consciousness gradually slipped away from his grasp while the looming shadow of death overtook his senses..
He indeed felt this.
No matter how much he turned it over in his head, there was no way he should’ve made it back, yet here he was, brought back to the land of the living… And the person who was capable of achieving such a feat… It could have only been one person.
“Ah, I’m glad… Vernell-kun, you’re awake.”
To think that the very Saint taking over his thoughts entered the room, and the first thing Vernell did was to say how glad he was to see that she was unharmed.
After which, he got curious about the tray she had brought and as the scent it carried wafted through the air, his stomach started to growl in response.
Elrise laughed softly at the sound of his impatient stomach and put the tray in front of Vernell.
“It’s a simple dish, but I made it with ingredients that are good for digestion. Can you eat right now?”
“Ye-yes, I guess I could… er, this, did Elrise-sama make this?”
Handmade by Elrise… just hearing this made Vernell feel like he was soaring through the air. There was no way he was worthy enough to eat the Saint’s cooking.
The food that was served was slightly strange. There was a weirdly colored cup of rice carrying the sweet scent of vegetables. The color was close to orange.
Anyway, as he received the plate he smelled garlic, which roused his appetite.
He used a wooden spoon and brought it to his mouth. Immediately, the sweetness of rice mixed with the deliciousness of vegetables spread inside his mouth.
It was a kind of taste that was further enhanced by the slight addition of salt to the appetizing scent of garlic. Furthermore, cheese complimented the dish’s harmony with its distinct mellow texture.
That was the exquisite taste he experienced, unbiased before he remembered the fact that it was made by Elrise.
“Its, delicious… this, this is very delicious!”
“I’m glad it suits your taste”
Elrise happily smiled as she saw how vigorously Vernell ate.
Then, only the sound of Vernell concentrating on eating continued for a while. After Vernell was finished eating, Elrise started her inquisition again with a low voice.
“Vernell-kun, why did you do such a thing?”
It must be about the time he protected Elrise.
Even if he asked why, Vernell himself actually didn’t know.
He could only say his body moved before he knew it.
He had to protect her at all cost. That was what he … and nothing more.
“I didn’t know… it’s just that my body moved before I noticed it. In any way I could, I thought I had to protect Elrise-sama, so…”
“I’m happy with such sentiments, but please, don’t do that again. If it came with the cost of your own destruction… no, not just you, no one should be my substitute.”
Being a replacement of oneself, then wounded because of it.
Perhaps that was far more painful for this girl who was too kind rather than for her to be actually wounded herself.
And yet this was also the same for Vernell.
Compared to him being wounded, he wished to prevent her being hurt even more.
They both carried the sense of responsibility of thinking about others before themselves, but because of this very similarity, they were now at odds.
“But, in that case… Elrise-sama alone will…”
Elrise-sama alone would keep on hurting. Before Vernell finished his sentence, Elrise cut him off with a hard resolve that could be felt with her words.
“It should have been me alone from the very beginning. If I took it all alone, no other people need to be hurt for nothing. Whether it was the Knights or Leila… or even you. That’s why… to put your body on your line to save me, do not do it ever again.”
It was okay if she handled all the pain alone.
The sight of Saint who was so capable that she exuded a noble air wherever she went always, always placed no regards toward her own safety.
If she were regarded to be the Greatest Saint of All Time, then she was truly already almost there.
To protect and defend others, all the while being constantly in solitary pain… perhaps, this would be the case until she met her demise.
Vernell was forlorn.
Elrise was stronger than anyone and she stood higher than anyone.
Meanwhile, Vernell was too weak, still too lacking to possibly stand beside her.
Lately, he had been training with Leila and Headmaster Fox in secret so he acknowledged that he did get much stronger… yet he came to understand during this fight that he was still thousands of steps away from standing on the same ground as Elrise.
The difference between them was akin to the moot attempt of chasing after a mountain’s peak hiding behind the clouds, all the while having climbed only until a house’s second floor. It’s that level of difference.
“I know I am weak. Even so I… wish to protect you…”
“Vernell-kun, you aren’t strong enough to do that. I will say it clearly now… even if you tried to protect me, you would only trouble me. You’d only be a burden.”
It was merciless.
Vernell’s hesitation was cut off by Elrise, as it was clearly declared that Vernell was weak.
It was a sound argument, so much that nobody would be able to let out a word of complaint.
Elrise turned around to glance at Vernell, who was unable to speak, then grasped the doorknob.
But it seems she would feel if she exited just like that, so she continued with her usual kind tone.
“…Even though you managed to regain your breath, please rest for a while. Don’t force yourself too hard.”
After she said that, Elrise exited the room.
It was frustrating.
It was not because Elrise called him weak.
It was because of how miserable he was after she had said it so plainly.
Elrise said he was weak in such a harsh manner, and this was her way of placing him far from danger.
He knew all of this, yet he can’t help but feel frustrated.
Elrise did not see him as a dependable man, but as one to be protected… there’s nothing more miserable for a man.
I want to be far stronger than I am now.
Vernell continued to cling onto this wish of his.
Illustration from nonoji様
If you only see this pic, you would think it was Bride-rise
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