When Ray regained consciousness, he saw the face of a young female mercenary in front of him. She was clad in a cuirass – sleeveless metal armor.
Her grayish blond hair was tied back in a ponytail and although her suntanned face was devoid of makeup, she possessed a sort of fearless beauty.
Suddenly having the face of such a beautiful female mercenary in front of him caused Ray to feel slightly unsettled. However, Ray quickly forgot his agitation when he perceived the putrid stench around him. A fishy metallic scent mingled together with a stench that smelled like manure, causing Ray’s face to grimace. He also noticed that there was some kind fluid stuck on his face and raised his hand to wipe it. Shock came across his face when he saw his hand.
Isn’t this b-blood? Am I injured? It doesn’t hurt though? What’s going on?
Ray panicked after seeing the large amount of blood splattered all over his body and surveyed his surroundings.
All around him were numerous corpses of the bandits who had been mercilessly slaughtered. A fierce nausea overcame him as he fell down on all fours and began vomiting. The female mercenary who saw that asked, “Are you alright?” However, Ray didn’t have the strength to answer her.
He heard her what she said but was unable to easily regain his composure. He ejected everything in stomach. Even after belching out his gastric juices, he couldn’t stop vomiting.
Wh, what the hell happened . . . I feel terrible . . . somebody . . . save me . . .
After continuously vomiting for around five minutes, Ray finally settled down as he laid on his back.
As she watched him, the female mercenary straightened her sitting posture and said “I want to give you my gratitude for rescuing me from that dangerous situation earlier. I’m Ashley Makkat. I’m currently serving as an escort for Baron Atelier. He’s right over there.”
Ray squeezed out his voice as he attempted to answer her, “I’m . . . Ray.” That was only he could manage to say. No more words came out of his mouth.
What the heck am I supposed to say? Am I supposed to tell her I came from a different world or something? I can’t think of anything . . . ah, whatever. Let’s go with the standard amnesia trope.
Ray promptly said, “Sorry, my memories aren’t too clear right now. All I can say for sure is that my name is Ray.”
The Baron Atelier observed Ray from a distance. He was a middle-aged man who wore luxurious garish-looking clothes. When he confirmed that Ray was not dangerous, he approached him while bringing along a man who seemed to be his butler.
“Rei-dono, I am Bruno Atelier, a Baron of the Lacus kingdom. I am extremely grateful to you for saving our lives.” (TL: If you don’t know what dono means.)
Not knowing how to answer, Ray decided to only nod his head for the time being. The female mercenary who was named Ashley looks at Ray’s appearance and hesitantly says,
“Rei-dono, now’s a good time for you to wash off the blood on your body. If I remember correctly , there should be a brook nearby. I could lend you a hand if you can’t stand up because of magic exhaustion . . .”
For the first time, Ray took a closer look at his own appearance.
His entire body was dyed a dark crimson and there seemed to be chunks of flesh clinging to him here and there. Ray felt the urge to vomit again but managed to withstand it. He squeezed out a question, “Could you tell me what happened?”
Atelier and Ashley exchanged glances for a brief moment. Ashley began to explain,
“When we were assaulted by bandits, Ray-dono rushed out and took out them out one by one . . .”
As Ray listened to Ashley’s simple explanation, his face turned pale.
I did all of that? Apparently, it was me who slaughtered all of the bandits . . . so this blood on me belongs to them . . .
Without caring about for his pride, Ray’s began to tremble.
What the heck is wrong with this guy? After acting like a hero, he vomits just from the sight of blood. Not only that, he starts shaking like some girl . . . I totally don’t get him.
Ashley’s initial impressions of him as a hero quickly crumbled. She struggled to sort out the jumble of various emotions swirling within her.
He probably isn’t a dangerous person. Instead, he seems kind of amusing. Furthermore, returning a favor to the benefactor who saves your life is a precept of the Makkat family . . .
After feeling some interest in him, Ashley once again suggested that Ray wash off the blood on his body.
The baron also seemed somewhat apologetic as he said, “Please do something about it before my daughter wakes up. I’m afraid she’ll faint again if she sees your appearance.”
Ray slowly trudged in the direction of the brook.
While gazing at Ray’s retreating figure, the baron inquired Ashley, “What do you think of him?”
She shakes her head, “I don’t understood him very well. At any rate, in his current state, I don’t think he will pose to be a danger to us.” She then proceeded to place the corpses of the knights onto the back of the carriage.
Ray arrived at the brook and attempted to wash off the blood by dipping parts of his body in the flowing water.
However, the coagulating blood stubbornly refused to come off. In the end, Ray was forced to plunge his whole body into the brook in an attempt to wash it. The brook’s water ended up being much colder than expected and before long, Ray’s teeth began to chatter. However, he prioritized cleaning off the blood and continued trying to rub it off while half in a panic.
Hurry up can come off damn it! The smell of blood makes me want to vomit. For god’s sake! Why the hell won’t it come off . . .
Ray continued to suffer the torture of the freezing water for around five minutes but in the end, he only managed to rub off the blood from his face and hands. His armor, mantle, the clothes that were under his armor and most importantly, his hair, remained mostly unchanged.
If this were a novel, I would only need to use Purification magic to make this blood come off . . . if what they told me earlier was true, I should be able to use magic. At this point, I might as well give magic a try . . .
Ray remembered that in the setting of the novel he wrote, there was a Daily Lifestyle magic called Purification. It was supposed to clean bodies and clothes. Daily Lifestyle magic was a branch of magic that combined the elements of Water, Light and Wind to create a cleansing magic. This was the setting he had thought up for the novel.
Ray calls to mind the Purification magic. The magical process went like this: Water spirits filtered away the grime, Light spirits broke it down, and finally, Wind spirits blew away the fragmented grime together with the Water. It was something he had seen in a laundry detergent commercial. Light gathered around Ray. First, blue light wrapped itself around his body. The light gradually turned into a bright golden white color and then finally gained a silverish hue as it continued to be wrapped around him.
Although surprised, Ray’s body remained still as he waited. The blood and soil that had been stuck to his body were completely removed. His cloak and clothes looked brand new and spotless. It was as if they had just come out of a laundry machine.
Of course, the hair Ray had been so worried about was no exception. Anyone who looked at him would have easily believed him if he said that he had just taken a bath. Not only that, his body and clothes which had gotten soaked in the brook were now completely dry. The coldness was gone from his body. It was now replaced with a soft warmth.
Wow! I actually used magic . . . it wouldn’t be surprising if others could also use it . . .
For a short moment, the fatigue and guilt he felt for killing others was forgotten as he became excited at the reality of being able to use magic. When he became tempted to try using magic again, he heard Ashley’s voice calling him from far away.
“Rei-dono! We will be departing soon, are you ready to come back?”
He thought it was slightly regrettable but when he remembered that there might be some surviving bandits around, he immediately headed back.
A spotless Ray approached the carriage where Ashley and the baron were waiting.
As he got closer, the smell of blood once again caused him to feel nauseated. However, he managed to suppress it.
Seeing Ray’s spotless appearance, Ashley and the baron’s faces shone with surprise.
“How did you manage to clean off so much blood? It’s as if you’ve changed your armor and clothes . . .”
Ray wondered how he should answer her.
Purification magic isn’t a normal thing? Using Combat magic is normal but apparently Daily Lifestyle magic isn’t? I have to make sure I don’t make them suspicious . . .
After worrying about how to answer, Ray begins his explanation with a feeling of nervousness,
“After cleaning myself for a while in the brook, I used magic to rub off the blood . . . you don’t know about cleansing magic?”
“Using magic to clean bodies and clothes . . . it’s rumored that the elves of the Saltooth Kingdom can use that kind of magic, but . . .”
The baron tilted his head in thought. However, Ray was bewildered by the name the baron had said.
Elves, he said. I also heard the name Saltooth. The baron said he was from the Lacus kingdom right . . . in my novel, there was a kingdom named Lacus wasn’t there? What does all this mean?
While watching the two men ponder, Ashley pragmatically reminded them to prepare for departure.
“Sir Atelier, Ray-dono, it would be best for us to depart soon.” She turned towards Ray and added, “Could you help me collect the Magic Stones from the bandits?”
“Magic Stones? . . . Oh, right, Magic Stones . . . wait, what?!”
Ray raised his voice without thinking when he heard the words Magic Stones.
Assuming that these Magic Stones are the same as those from my novel, they should be the magical crystals contained within human and demon bodies. If I remember correctly, extracting them requires you to hover your hand over the corpse and circulate magical power through the body . . . ugh, I’m not exactly eager about facing corpses again . . .
As Ray remained bewildered, Ashley suggested something different in a slightly irritated voice.
“What’s wrong? Did your memory loss also cause you to forget the methods of extracting Magic Stones? It’s fine, I’ll collect the Magic Stones myself. Could you go find our horses and bring them back for me instead?”
Ray accepted the task and entered the forest where the horses were supposed to be.
The Lacus Kingdom and Magic Stones . . . Although I’ll have to gather some more information before I can come to a clear conclusion, it seems like I’ve somehow wandered into my own novel . . .
He spotted the dead knights’ horses and timidly approaches them.
I never even touched a horse before. Am I supposed to grab their reins? There’s more than ten horses in total, how am I going to bring them all along with me . . .
Although Ray didn’t really know what he was doing, he decided to bring them back to the carriage in pairs. He only needed to lightly tug on their reins for them to follow. It seemed like they had been excellently trained.
As he brought the first two horses to the carriage, he spotted Ashley extracting the Magic Stones from the corpses of the bandits. It was as he expected. As Ashley held her hand over the chest of the corpse, something that seemed like a glass sphere of around 1.5 centimeters floats out.
It’s as I thought, everything is following the setting of my novel, “Trinitas Mundus”. Did I really get lost in the world of my novel then? Such a thing . . .
Although he felt skeptical, Ray concentrated on gathering the horses and tried his best to not think too much. In around 12 minutes, Ray had collected all of the horses. Ashley also completed extracting the Magic Stones and then binded the previously collected horses with ropes. She mounted a horse and then worriedly asked Ray, “Are you able to ride a horse? If you can’t, you could just ride on the carriage . . .”
He observed the way she rode the horse and said, “I’ll manage it somehow.” He was bewildered by a mysterious feeling.
For some reason, I feel like I’ll be able to ride the horse. Why is that?
Ray put one foot on the stirrup and then straddled the horse. It was much easier than he thought. It was as if his body remembered the movements.
It was even easier than learning how to ride a bicycle. What’s going on here? No, wait, this body doesn’t even belong to me. Who the heck did it belong to?
Ashley seemed relieved when she saw that Ray could ride the horse. She heads to the baron to inform him of their departure and then makes a signal with her hand toward the man who seemed like the baron’s butler. He was the one driving the carriage.
The instant he saw her signal, the butler started the carriage. Although Ray rode his horse with apprehensive feelings in the beginning, after around ten minutes he was able to freely control his horse. It was as if he had always ridden horses.
Maybe the horses are just trained well. Still, is horse-riding supposed to be this easy?
Although Ray harbored doubts about his sudden ability to ride horses, he continued to urge his horse on for the sake of getting out of the forest.