“Big Brother…” Eirinn turned around, wanting Leguna to get her supply box.
When she saw him covered in wounds, dirt, and scars, however, she forgot her words.
“You need the supply box, right? Is it in your room?” Vera quickly asked.
“Yes,” Eirinn said absentmindedly as she handed her the key.
“Alright,” Vera took the key and dashed off.
Eirinn stared at Lisana, who teetered on the edge, before calmly Breathing her miracles.
“It’s serious,” a soldier nearby said.
“Her chest is wounded. We should expect the worst,” another said as he shook his head.
Any man would feel bad about a beautiful girl dying.
“I doubt it,” the first said, “Miss. Eirinn is here, so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Miss. Nancy can save anyone as long as they still breathe. Miss. Eirinn is her disciple, so she shouldn’t be much worse than her. I bumped into a Stok patrol and got slashed across my stomach two months ago. My guts were spilling out, but Miss. Eirinn saved me. She’s really reliable!”
“You have a point,” the other agreed.
Leguna listened to passers-by’s casual banter and glanced at Eirinn, who was still Breathing solemnly. He felt a tinge of pride tingle his heart. This timid girl was respected and relied upon now…
“How is it, Miss. Eirinn?” Alissanda asked.
“Your Highness has done well to stabilize her,” Eirinn said, wiping sweat off her forehead, “I can sense holy impetus in her. It was you, yes?”
“If not for your impetus protecting the wound, she wouldn’t have lasted ’till now.”
“Can you save her?” Alissanda asked anxiously, “It probably got her heart. She…”
Eirinn shook her head.
“No, her heart is slightly further right than normal, it got her lungs but only grazed her heart. She will be fine, don’t worry.”
The prince finally breathed again. Vera returned not long after with the supply box. Eirinn used a combination of divine miracles and normal healing techniques to quickly stabilize Lisana’s wound.
“Father! You’re back!” Lisana smiled at a tall man standing in the room’s entrance.
He held a large sack that twitched non-stop.
“Looks like the catch today is good!” she chirped.
“It was,” the man laughed, “I got a great one today. If things keep going like this, I might buy you a few more dresses this year.”
“Really? Thanks!” Lisana yelped, leaping into her fathers embrace.
“Don’t mess around. Your father still has stuff in his hands,” a woman with the same hair color as Lisana said gently.
“I’m just too happy…” Lisana pouted.
She helped her father carry the catch.
They lived in a fishing village near the ocean. Each day was exactly the same as the last. She was just the daughter of a fisherman back then. Everyone acknowledged her as the most beautiful girl in the village, but her biggest wish was to go to the boutique in the city nearby to buy beautiful dresses. Though their lives were plain, they were peaceful.
It all changed that day, however.
Stok soldiers barged into their village near the border. The villages location meant is existed in an odd position where it was not really a part of either empire. Though rumors of the war had come to their village, most people didn’t care about it. It had nothing to do with their small village. They were just common fishermen. They had done nothing to either side, so no one expect to be dragged into the war.
They completely underestimated the elite’s greed. The Stokians saw the area was a strategic location near the seas, so they wanted to build a military base there.
The unit in charge of killing the townsfolk had 100 riders. They were only around four of five strata strong on average though. They would be nothing more than warmup for Leguna.
The fishing folk, however, were powerless against them.
Luckily, Lisana’s father took her to the city that day. They returned to the town that night to find it completely ruined.
Corpses were piled on the side of the road like animal dung and a few soldiers were chatting as they lit them on fire. One of the soldiers peeked into the trash pile and cut off a housewife’s finger to get her gold ring. It was slightly discolored, but it could still fetch a good price.
The others pestered him for a meal, to which he gladly agreed. The group laughed heartily as they went about their gruesome business.
Though the laughter was genuine, they were blades to the father and daughter. The housewife’s corpse had a head of pink. Lisana’s mother. This woman, so dear to the two, now lay, just another corpse, in the pile slowly catching fire.
Lisana, her eyes were devoid of life, stared expressionlessly at the scene. Her mind was subsumed in the thoughts of what an old man had taught her years earlier.
It was stormiest time of the year and most of the houses’ windows and doors were shut as everyone waited out the rain and wind which kept them from going out to sea.
Few people left their houses for those couple of months, but Lisana’s front door had a knock that day. Her mother answered it and found a robed man outside. His attire revealed his noble status as he glanced at the woman.
“I was caught out in the rain, would you be so kind as to give me shelter for the night?” said the old man gently. It had been raining for two or so hours already, but the clothes of the man still looked clean. Nobody knew how he made his way there.
“Of course. Please come in,” her mother had welcomed the man.
Her family showered the old man with fishing folk’s hospitality. The mother scrubbed the man’s muddy shoes and her father heated him a bowl of fish soup. The storm held for seven days, during which time the old man stayed with them.
They were deathly afraid of the old man’s status, so they were very courteous. They attended to his needs without asking any unnecessary questions. They didn’t even bother to ask for his name, choosing simply to address him as ‘lord’.
The old man seemed accustomed to being treated gingerly. Though he was polite the whole time, he never spoke a single word of gratitude.
Lisana’s parents also warned her to not get too close to him, but the energetic girl naturally didn’t listen. She quickly discovered the man’s other side.
When out of the parents’ sight, the old man behaved like a ruffian. He also did some things grossly out of character for someone of his station.
For instance, he would drag Lisana out of bed every night to train in the rain. She was forcefully dragged out of her dreams. But later, she grew more and more excited about their training sessions. She wouldn’t need to be called, getting out of bed on her own.
Just like that, Lisana learned how to fight. Every time after training, the old man would place his hand on her head. She would feel a wave of warmth coursing through her body. She didn’t just not get sick from being in the rain at night, she got much stronger.
The old man left when the skies cleared, giving them a simple goodbye as he walked off.
He’d said a few words to Lisana the night before, however.
“Among all the people I’ve seen, your talent is easily at the top.”
“I’ve planted a seed in you. Consider it my thanks for your family’s care,” the old man had said, “I guess that makes you half-way my disciple.”
“What kind of disciple doesn’t know her master’s name?” Lisana had pouted.
“A name is but a form of address. Is it really that important?” he’d answered mysteriously.
But she knew he was just messing with her to satisfy his pride.
“Tch, always putting up airs! I know you want to say it! Be more honest!”
The old man stood awkwardly for a moment, his bubble burst.
“Fine. Your master will tell you his name. I am Marolyt Ladis. Others know me as the galestorm swordsaint!”
The girl responded calmly. How could she, the daughter of mere fishermen, understand what a ‘saint’ was?
“Dammit, isn’t your reaction too underwhelming?! The chivalric novels are all wrong! Where’s the promised look of awe after hearing about an expert’s shocking power? Where’s the worship and respect? Those novelists will definitely make a huge flop if they write my experiences into a story!” Marolyt spat furiously.