“Shin! Are you feeling okay?!” Five minutes after Kanari left the room, a horde of concerned young teenagers ran into the ward, all desperate to find out how the young teen was faring.
“I’m fine… Just tired that’s all. You don’t have to worry about me, Emma.”
“Are you sure?” Emma lightly patted on the bandages that were wrapped around Shin’s chest, careful not to apply excessive force to the injured boy’s body. “You were unconscious for four full hours! There’s no way that you’re completely fine.”
“No, really… I know my body the best. The injuries that I sustained can be healed within a few days.”
“Is that so?” Thinking back on the beating that Shin had received under Danroy, Emma honestly questioned Shin’s self-diagnosis.
“The boy’s right, young lass.” Before Shin could reassure Emma once more, an old voice echoed through the spacious ward snapping all of the students’ attention towards the door. An elderly man, possibly in his late seventies, entered into the room with a dazed expression. Seeing the white-haired man, the teenagers in the room opened a clear path for him, so that he could quickly reach the side of Shin’s bed.
“Shin, this is Registrar Escfortin. He was the one that treated you.” Elrin cheerfully introduced the elderly man to the injured youth in bed.
“Registrar?!” As a former healer, there was no way that Shin wasn’t familiar with that term. One level above a Senior Healer, a Registrar, typically was responsible for one entire region and had the authority to command and withdraw medical troops from any battlefield. Other than the Elder and Divine Healers at the headquarters of the Healer’s Association, a Registrar was possibly the highest rank of physicians that a regular person might meet in their lifetimes.
“Thank you for taking the time to treat me!” Shin attempted to get out of bed so that he could formally express his thanks. However, the aged man instantly appeared next to the youth and gently pushed him back up.
“Don’t get up, boy. Even though there are no life-threatening injuries, you still need to rest. Speaking of which, let me examine you once more…” Registrar Escfortin placed his right palm on Shin’s chest and sent a large amount of mana into his body. Relaxing his body, the young teen closed his eyes and allowed the Registrar’s mana to flow effortlessly through. Shin was all too familiar with this procedure. The elderly man was simply scanning and examining the condition that Shin was in.
“Hmmm… Peculiar… This is peculiar indeed…”
“Boy, have you taken any treasured herb? Or perhaps have your body enhanced by external means?” Instead of giving his honest assessment, Registrar Escfortin asked Shin a series of questions.
“No, I haven’t?”
“Then that’s odd… How are you able to heal that quickly?!” The elderly man exclaimed. “When you first came here, your body was in shambles. Although there was no threat to your life, you at least needed a few days to completely recuperate from that mess. Yet, you’re almost ninety per cent healed up! Don’t you think that’s peculiar?”
“…” Hearing the Registrar’s assessment, Shin thought back on the incidents that had defined his first six months in the Capital.
By training every single day, and using his Healing Water frequently on his body to mend his broken wounds, Shin’s body must have grown accustomed to the rapid healing process and had adapted accordingly. Furthermore, with the overpowered ability, Heal, in his arsenal, Shin’s body might automatically apply continuous treatment even without Shin’s knowledge. Now that he was reflecting about it, Shin realised that after every training session, his recovery period had shortened significantly since he first began his spartan-like workouts.
‘What? Am I some sort of unkillable machine now?’ Shin mentally joked. “No, I just have grown accustomed to getting hurt I guess?”
“Hmmm, I’ll just take it as that. However, let me do one final probe if that’s okay with you?”
“No, of course! Please do!” Shin spread his arms open like an eagle so that the elderly man could complete his duties.
“It’s nice that you’re so understanding. Looks like Elrin has found yet another gem.”
“Hehe, you’re making me blush, Registrar.” The white-haired girl cheekily grinned before sending a playful glance at the black-haired beauty that had been at Shin’s side this entire time. No words had to be shared between the two, but they clearly understood each other’s intentions.
Ignoring the silent war between the two proud daughters of the heavens, Registrar Escfortin summoned out a golden needle that possessed a carving of an immortal python of myth. Gently poking Shin’s chest, the elderly man sent a torrent of mana down his patient’s way as he cast one of his strongest healing spiritual abilities.
“*Resplendent Harmony!*.” A divine light shone from the depths of Registrar Escfortin’s soul and instantly soothed the ailments that Shin was suffering from. The elderly man had used this ability on Shin the moment he arrived and was doing once more to check how much his patient has recovered in the few hours since Shin was first treated.
“Really peculiar… Your body is a piece of work! So much so that I want to bring you back to conduct experiments on.”
“…” Suddenly, Shin felt as if he was a piece of meat and the sickbed was his chopping board. ‘Why are all top healers so weird when it comes to experiments?’
Lady Seph frequently carried the same expression that Registrar Escfortin would right now. Whenever an exciting research topic or subject would reach their path, they would do their best to examine every detail of it, sometimes even disregarding the feelings of those involved entirely.
“Registrar! You can’t harm him!” Elrin retorted with puffed cheeks.
“I know, I know… I don’t want to get fired by Terlus after all. Alright, if there are any other issues, Elrin, you know where to find me.”
“Hehe! Thanks for coming! You’re the best!”
“Don’t mention it…” Waving his hands, the elderly man dismissed Elrin’s praise before promptly exiting the ward, leaving the teenagers behind to mingle with each other. Relieved that Shin was ultimately fine, the twins took a step back and observed the vibe of the room. For some reason two of the most influential freshmen in the entire school were accompanying Shin, even though they barely interacted with the black-haired youth.
Kanari was adamant not to leave Shin’s side, as if she were a lion protected her prized prey from the pack of hyenas that surrounded her. Or in this case, the one.
“Shin, I do believe that we weren’t formally introduced to each other. My name is Elrin.” Not willing to wait any longer, Elrin struck first by extending a handshake to Shin. “I hope that you would forgive me for not intervening in the duel earlier.”
“No, I was the one who was stubborn. I should have thrown in the towel when I had the chance. Besides, I have yet to thank you for bringing me here to get treated.”
“That’s nothing. To get into the good graces with the number two freshman in the year, it was a small price to pay.” Elrin used her years of experience as a merchant’s daughter to charm the youth, causing Kanari to frown in displeasure. “If you need any assistance, whether it be school related or otherwise, please feel free to contact me! I can help you with anything that you need!”
“… Thank you?” Shin was confused with Elrin’s sudden generosity. School had begun weeks ago, and this was the first time that the white-haired girl had ever approached him of her own volition.
“Hehe, no problem! I’m always open to having an additional friend to rely on. So please rely on me, okay?” The one thing that Elrin excelled at that Kanari couldn’t hope to match, was her interpersonal skills. Instead of directly telling Shin what she wanted from him, the white-haired girl opted to first form a cordial relationship with the youth. After a few more interactions, where they had opened up to each other a little more, then she would strike like a falcon diving for its prey.
“For now, you should take this time to rest here. The Eastern Zedcris building has fantastic facilities for you to enjoy! I have already informed the faculty of your injuries so that you could take the day off.”
“No! It’s fine… I just need to rest for a bit, and I can return back to the pink of health! I can attend school tomorrow.”
“Are you sure?”
“Definitely. Please, bring me back!”
Elrin rubbed her chin and fell deep into thought. Taking to account Shin’s wishes as well as Registrar Escfortin’s opinion about the matter, the young girl finally relented. “Fine… I’ll take you back before midnight. However, you are to rest here for the time being! Actually, why don’t I wheelchair you around the facility?”
“Ah… You don’t have to…”
“No! It’s settled! Wait here! Let me get the wheelchair! Oh, and I could call over the other two of your friends that aren’t here yet.”
Shizen and Isadore were currently out exploring the vast building, that contained over twenty stories worth of items. Shizen especially. As a hermit that has never explored anything outside of the Dundlewoods, everything that was foreign to him was a marvel that had to be investigated.
“She sure is a hyper person…” Ella remarked with a raised eyebrow.
“Hehe, well Elrin is a nice person!” Emma giggled.
“…” While the twins were praising the white-haired girl to the seventh heaven, Kanari had furrowed brows as she stared blankly into the air. Evidently, she wasn’t too pleased that Elrin had taken a march over her, even though she had clearly realised Shin’s potential first.
“Miss Kanari… I have yet to thank you.”
“No… How do I put this? Didn’t you accompany me when I was unconscious? It really helped me.” Having been through hell once more, it was helpful to have a helping hand nearby to catch him when he woke up. If he had awoken to this unfamiliar place, there was no doubt in Shin’s mind that he would have gotten a panic attack.
Not willing to elaborate the details of the nightmare that he just had, Shin sent the black-haired beauty an earnest gaze, one of the likes that resembled that of an adorable puppy. “Thank you for helping me.”
“Ah… Don’t mention it.” Due to Shin’s ‘suprise attack,’ the ethereal beauty was tongue-tied for words for a moment. However, she did manage to mutter out a few words.
“Miss Kanari. I’m sorry for being so rude back then. I was just taken aback that’s all.” Recalling the time where Shin simply ran away from Kanari, the boy felt abashed by his actions and felt the need to rectify his mistakes. “If possible, I hope to form a friendly relationship with you as well. It’s just I really don’t have any plans on joining any sort of organisation.”
“No… I understand that I was too hasty back then. I too want to form friendly relations with you.” Kanari reflected as well. Even though she did not know everything about Shin and had yet to form a good relationship with the boy, the black-haired beauty had decided to rush things, forcing Shin to cower away for the longest time. “No hard feelings?”
“Of course!” Shin accepted Kanari’s handshake with a sparkling smile on his face.
“Oh, but I definitely want the Fairies of the Hail on my side.” Taking the opportunity to tease the twins that stood alongside Shin, Kanari showed her most chummy expression since arriving at Imperius Academy.
“Miss Kanari! You know we hate that name!”
“Hahahaha!” Loud laughter bellowed through the empty hallways of the ward as Shin and the twins had added a new friend to their clique. It was the start of the formation of one of the most legendary teams in history, but of course, none of them knew about that just yet.