A False Confession
Tears were about to burst from my eyes.
There was a deep imprint left on the ground from Cabel’s sword, as if it had driven a clear line between Tirack and Vios’s army.
The soldiers panicked, retreating from Cabel.
He came into view amidst the chilly new atmosphere and arrived in front of Tirack, his black cloak swaying widely with his every step.
The air around him seemed full of static, giving me goosebumps as he approached.
A look of anger flashed over his cold face, then quickly subsided.
He recaptured his emotions neatly, but the tendon sticking out from his hand, tightly gripping his sword, gave him away.
A dark purple current, matching the color of his eyes, hovered above his sword.
It was the first time I had witnessed his swordsmanship.
A blazing purple energy wrapped around his sword, rattling the air around him.
The image was overwhelmingly shocking, but more pressing than that, Tirack suddenly let out a painful groan.
I hurriedly propped him up against some equipment that was next to him.
Laying him down would have been more ideal, but I couldn’t because of the arrow in his back.
I couldn’t have even considered it just a moment ago, but with Cabel here now, even Tirack seemed to have released some tension as well.
From time to time I could hear the sound of arrows flying, but nothing penetrated where I knelt with Tirack.
Cabel was blocking everything so easily right in front of me.
The soldiers, who were shouting and running in disarray, were helplessly overpowered before him.
So now all I have to do is treat Tirack.
Then everything will be okay again.
The Nickel Knights and the Paladins had camped in a circle surrounding our base camp in order to protect it, but as the defense around where Tirack and I were had collapsed, Vios’s troops became concentrated there.
Elsewhere, everything had been handled quickly under Elviniraz and Cabel, since both of them were like embodiments of their swords.
However, there was still an enormous amount of injured during the surprise attack, and the barracks were still burning.
The moaning of fallen soldiers could be heard throughout the camp, awaiting treatment longer than usual because the priests who were meant to heal them were injured themselves.
Nevertheless, I still have Elviniraz’s grandiose title of ‘God’s Envoy,’ on my side, since I’m still comparatively fine, minus the wounds on my leg.
But in actuality, I wasn’t in a good state at all, but I kept telling myself I was okay.
I had to be okay.
I should be okay—so what the hell?
My divine power won’t come out.
My voice trembled in shock.
I firmly pressed my fingertips against Tirack’s abdomen, trying to stop the tremors in my hands from spreading.
I earnestly prayed for his recovery despite my fragile state of mind.
However, the intermittent light spread only shallowly, absent of a healing effect.
A sudden burst of blood dyed my hands red.
It was no longer the bright red from a surface cut, but the dark burgundy from his deeper organs.
The chilling warmth from the damp feeling on my fingers made the whole thing feel like a dream.
A very gruesome and terrible dream.
However, the situation was too urgent to allow myself to become immersed in such negative sentiments.
Endlessly repeating please, please, please, I pressed my hands over the wounds.
However, my divine power refused to come out, only allowing a brief glimmer of light.
Even though I was sitting on my knees, my body trembled like crazy, and I felt like I was going to fall forward.
I repositioned my hands to his shoulder and tried again, but the light was still dim.
No, it can’t do this now, please.
My desperate wish left me in so much pain, as if it sliced my throat as it left me.
Have I ever sought after God as fervently as I am in this moment? I prayed so desperately.
Please let me heal this person.
Otherwise, I won’t be able to sleep for the rest of my life.
However, my divine power never came out.
I looked around in a hurry, my face white with fear.
Others, other priests had to help Tirack.
But they were all already consumed, since the available priests were heavily outnumbered by the wounded.
Some even staggered with pale faces, barely able to stand.
Since it was impossible to treat everyone with divine power in this situation, the Paladins were also busy going around and distributing first aid.
So why the hell am I like this? Why, why, why? What’s wrong? I was sinking further and further into despair, asking endless questions that could not be answered.
Tirack smiled dimly.
This is my fault.
I…I made a wrong judgment.”
He exhaled slowly, his head beginning to tilt.
He made a frown, as if it was difficult to continue the conversation.
He eventually released it, and he ended up being the one to comfort me, when he was the one in such a miserable state.
I didn’t even know I was crying.
Tears had filled my eyes without realizing it, and it was only after I heard Tirack’s words that I noticed them falling.
Tirack faintly told me it was okay.
I wanted to ask him what the hell was okay about this situation.
Regardless, I felt an instinctive anxiety that I needed to keep him talking.
After continuous attempts, a white light gradually persevered under my hand.
Now I only had to conjure the healing power.
But that glimmer of hope was quickly dashed as soon as I realized that he was losing blood at a faster rate than the wounds could be healed.
Unbeknownst to me, my hands became so saturated in dark red that they were almost black.
Just for a moment, please, don’t let go!!”
The words that began in a trembling voice turned into a screaming demand.
It was because Tirack’s arm, which had been resting on his leg, fell to the ground.
No! At the same time as my hysterical scream, his body collapsed forward.
Tirack’s breathing hadn’t yet stopped, but he was in such a state that it wouldn’t be strange if he died right then and there.
My divine power’s coming out now.
I’d been so desperate for it, but now that it’s finally working properly, Tirack’s pale body is only getting weaker and weaker.
I readjusted myself and tried to focus concentratedly on the treatment, but I couldn’t keep myself together.
The divine power that came out properly before, began to falter again.
My arm itself was shaking, so I couldn’t hold his wounds in the proper position.
But then Cabel held my hand tightly, pressing it down and holding it steady.
In fact, a while ago he had come and stood beside me, as if he had cleared up all the disorder behind him, but he didn’t say a word, as if he was trying not to disturb me.
But he eventually knelt down next to me, overlapping my hand with his own.
White light poured out from under my hand.
As I prayed so earnestly and desperately, the divine power came out, but more of his blood had been spilt than ever.
“No, it can’t, it can’t be.”
My voice trembled in horror.
Please let another priest come and help him.
I kept wishing in vain.
However, with the exception of the priests who were too injured to heal, everyone was working just as hard, pouring their powers into the wounded soldiers.
Therefore, I have to solve this situation on my own; the wounds that won’t respond to divine power, the never-ending flow of escaping blood, and the trembling arms of Tirack.
Facing an impenetrable wall, a feeling of despair wrapped around me tightly.
All kinds of self-reproach left me in remorse.
If only I had run away properly from the beginning, if only I had avoided the soldiers who had followed me, then maybe Tirack wouldn’t have needed to turn around and save me.
In an instant, the mercenary had been struck dead in front of me.
I felt suffocated.
Again, in a crucial moment my guilt made a reappearance and strangled me.
I’d been overcome by anxiety dozens, hundreds of times because I couldn’t save his life, and I had feared that it would hinder my healing abilities.
In my uneasiness, I would often check my powers secretly, but seeing the white light spread underneath my hands rarely brought much relief.
In the end, was all of that apprehension a harbinger of the present?
What if Tirack dies like this? If the person who tried to protect me dies in front of me, how can I live? Even now, I feel terrible since I’m conscious of the fact that I’m more afraid of my own guilt over his death than I am of Tirack’s death itself.
I’m not even close to something like God’s envoy.
Suddenly, a firm voice fell to my ears.
I was shivering with a discolored face, but Cabel looked on the situation in a calm manner.
However, judging by his bloody lips, he must’ve been clenching his lips tightly before.
“……It’s my fault.”
He then explained to me that they should have been more careful when they were looking for Vios’s base camp, and that they should’ve been able to resolve this situation more quickly, even going so far as to point out Tirack’s own misjudgment.
“It’s not your fault.”
While I couldn’t answer, Cabel grabbed my hand and pressed down.
He was so firm in his assertion that it wasn’t my fault, and he continued heavily, laying down one syllable after another.
“And now I’m forcing you, holding onto you when you said you couldn’t do it.”
“So, blame me.”
…Did Cabel say that to calm me down? But can I blame him for not being able to summon my divine power from the beginning, or for my inability to catch up with the wounds that are now worsening due to my lack of divinity?
However, Cabel didn’t give me the chance to question further, and he squeezed my hand even harder.
His hands were also stained dark red with blood.
It was a sudden downpour.
What had started as a couple of drops quickly became a violent torrent.
Just a couple of hours ago, I was looking up at the sky with Tirack and talking about when this very rain would fall.
I couldn’t breathe.
The pure white light spreading under my hands fluttered unsteadily.
Tirack lifted his eyelids with massive effort, and the eyes I faced at that time were… cloudy, seeing only blurs.
I want—No, I have to save him.
I felt something breaking inside my head.
For the past ten days, no, from the moment I left for this campaign, I could feel something vague yet sensitive slowly closing in around my mind.
It pierces me sharply every night, and one day it’ll overtake me completely while I stubbornly refuse to name it.
In an instant, everything shattered.
Soon after, an immense energy surged from my hands.
There in the midst of that cold rain shower, a spring wind-like energy swelled in my body and burst through my fingertips.
It began with an eerie sensation of liquid entwining around my fingers, and then I experienced a vague emptiness, as if I’d fallen into a hollow void.
But ultimately, the comforting warmth of a person holding my hand brought me back.
And finally I burst into tears.
—A blinding white light exploded over the whole area.
* * * * * * *
Everything felt distant.
The colorless sky spread above, flooding the collapsing barracks with enough rain to extinguish the flames, but replacing it with acrid smoke that mixed in with the chaos and noise around it.
I could hear the sound of the soldiers running as they moved in haste, administering first aid.
Sometimes screams rang out.
It was a time when the world was nothing but dim and cold.
But then, a pure white light suddenly burst forth, spreading indefinitely throughout the area, accompanied by a warm spring breeze that did not match the season.
People’s movements simultaneously stopped, and all noise was cut off at once.
The cry that I broke out alone was buried by the sound of the wind, and I, who was sitting in the source of that blinding light, finally exhausted all of my energy and fell forward.
Cabel caught me firmly with one arm, but I couldn’t even thank him as I slipped from consciousness instantly.
Tirack’s breathing didn’t stop.
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