73. Chapter 73
Walm was in a corner of the bar from the morning and was drinking alcohol. Until he was intoxicated, he filled his stomach with alcohol and ate barely enough to keep himself alive.
It had already been repeated every day for a year. The mind and body slowly rot since then. While he was drinking, he obscured reality, self-loathed himself, and colored the abominable memories of his homeland in a muddy color. Walm’s target for salvation wasn’t a bystander such as God, but only liquor and cigarettes that would keep his consciousness stunned.
Liquor bottles were lined up on the table. He suddenly wondered how many he had emptied. He felt uncomfortable as his eyebrows knitted and his eyelids were shaking, but instead of stopping, it turned into pain.
“Uh, urrgghh, aAHH”
Eventually, he suffered from burning pain in both eyes.
“a, AHH, my eyes, aAHH”
The edge of the desk that was being squeezed squeaked, and the breath went violently. The unbearable pain that the eyeballs felt was as if a heated five-inch nail coming in, and the severe pain awakened the memory of the past. The same pain as something that had been experienced in the past. It was in the memory of the abominable event at Dandurg Castle. The tragedy of the “Great Outbreak” that had been being kept deep inside the brain rushed into mind.
“Hoi, are you okay?”
Because it was still morning, there was no sign of other guests, and Gangut, the owner who rushed out of the kitchen, called out.
Walm tried to act tough, but Gangut denied it.
“No matter how I look at it, you don’t seem okay. Do your eyes hurt?”
Gangut looked into Walm’s eyes, and sighed. The pupils reflected in the glass were narrowed vertically like what Walm had seen on the battlefield of the past, and swayed freely like its own living thing.
“Y-you should go to the church’s treatment center right now and see a healing magician.”
Gangut told Walm in a sorry tone. It had been a year since Walm had been with him, but Walm could see that Gangut took good care of him, and this time too, it was a piece of advice said with good intention.
“Ye, ah, I understand. Where is, the place?”
Walm’s range of activity had been small for the past year, he had only traveled to a small rental room for spending the night, a general store for buying daily necessities, and a bar for drinking alcohol. He didn’t know the location of the clinic.
“It’s on the main street. You can see it when you head to the center of the city. It’s a building with a noticeable blue stained glass.”
Stepped forward in a fluctuating field of view. The aged floor creaked slightly.
“Are you okay going alone?”
“I’m not a kid. I can go to a hospi… a treatment center alone.”
Walm made a long joke, and when he smiled lightly, the owner’s face cramped. Perhaps he looked scary from the owner’s perspective.
When Walm pushed the door open, the annoying but dazzling sun welcomed him. He wondered when was the last time he walked on the main street in the daytime, he tried to search in his memories, but nothing was found.
The eyeball rejected the dazzling sun, as if he had become a vampire. Passersby were avoiding the undead-like footsteps of Walm. Seeing the people being so considerate with the sick, Walm laughed at himself.
“Haha, so, far”
The road he needed to pass, which was less than a kilometer, felt like the Great Wall of China. Occasionally, he leaned himself on the fence of private houses while calming his turbulent breathing.
As the bar owner Gangut said, the treatment center was easy to distinguish even from a distance. The building was based on white, and blue stained glass was used abundantly to let in the sunlight.
It was a building that normally Walm wouldn’t even approach, unless there was intermittent eye pain like right now. There were unrelated graveyards and statues of those who failed to fight their wounds.
Dived through the fancy gates and pushed the doors of the building.
Stained glass was stretched around the dome shape ceiling. If someone came to purely just appreciating the building, some would let out an amazed voice by now. However, the current Walm felt that it was nothing more than a lighting fixture with an unsightly light.
A young woman was sitting over the counter. She must be the receptionist. Surely, better than a dirty middle-aged man for the eyes.
The lady at the reception asked Walm.
“My eyes hurt”
Walm dragged his leg and turned his eyes to the woman.
The receptionist took a breath.
“E-eyes, is it. Wait, I’ll check the schedule now.”
The receptionist girl disappeared into the back.
Walm sat deep in a chair and rested his back. The pain increased without any sign of getting better.
“Fuu, huu, huff”
Disorder breathing. Walm hurriedly stopped trying to reach for the flask on his waist. He was trying not to rely on the alcohol that he had relied on until now. He understood that alcohol wasn’t a real panacea.
“Please, go there.”
While receiving the eyes of the receptionist on his back, Walm stepped into the guided room.
Old books, bottled specimens, herbs, and liquids of unknown use were lined up in the room. In the meantime, the healing magician was sitting.
“Sit there. Your eyes, seem like it’s burning.”
Walm sat down in the chair pointed to and replied.
“Yeah, it hurts, as if, about, to melt.”
“I see, let me check.”
The leaning healing magician looked into his eyes. The skin with slacks and wrinkles was according to age. The healing magician squeezed out the words with a slightly quivering voice.
“No way, is this the evil eye? What did you do? Really.”
There was no need to hide it now. So, Walm answered honestly.
“During the war, I lost both eyes. And the eyes of the Ogre Lord were transplanted.”
“The eyes of the Ogre Lord? What a ridiculous story”
The stunned healing magician, who suddenly went silent as if she had lost her words, began to ponder.
“First of all, it’s impossible to be alive. Does it really compatible?… I still can’t believe these bloodshot eyes, the mana and fresh blood that flow out of them are compatible. You should’ve died on a day of rejection. But for your body to get used to it…”
The healing magician sneaked into the sea of thought and never returned.
Walm, who was tired of waiting, sought a conclusion.
“So, could you cure it?”
“Me? Curing it? It’s, impossible.”
Expected to get a long answer, but the healing magician declared in short that treatment would be impossible for her. A second opinion might be needed, but unfortunately, there were no other healing magicians.
Walm looked at the healing magician, revealing his distrust.
“Ca-calm down. I mean, my skill can’t do it. What happened to the healing magician who transplanted those evil eyes?”
The healing magician, who transplanted the eyes, was dead in Dandurg Castle. She was no longer in the world, she crossed the other side once she was invited to the Netherworld. That was all Walm knew.
“She, died in the war.”
That was more than enough words. Feeling disheartened, the healing magician sighed a little.
“War, is it? I want to meet a healing magician who managed to transplant the evil eye, but she already left this world, huh?”
The healing magician made a hand prayer.
“If that person here, the symptoms could be suppressed, and maybe an adjustment to even perfectly fit those eyes to you could be achieved…”
“So, there’s no other way to do it huh.”
“I don’t want you to jump to the conclusion in a hurry… Let me tell you, I’ve healed many people to the extent that many called me a veteran.”
It seemed that the healing magician wanted to oppose Walm’s words of acceptance which mixed with self-ridicule.
“…Let me ask. How much money do you have?”
Even in this world, no one could live without money. Walm understood that. So, when he left Dandurg Castle and Highserk Empire’s territory, he recovered supplies and valuables from those who no longer needed them. Walm took a bag full of coins from the magic bag and spread it on his desk.
“Surprisingly, I’ve quite some.”
After counting gold coins and magic silver coins, the healing magician left her seat and opened the tightly locked shelves. Only suspicious items were packed inside, and there was a bottle of liquid that looked so muddy like a poisonous swamp and even an ointment that gave off a luster in seven colors
“Umm, where did I put it… Ah, this is it.”
The healing magician took out a bottle filled with red liquid.
“What is that?”
“It’s an eye medicine. It won’t neutralize Hydra’s poison, but it can neutralize most poisons and heal even minor defects. It’s a genuine product with the approval of The Great Forest Alliance.”
“About this much.”
The healing Magician took an amount of money that Walm could use to drink for about 20 years. In one go, that many coins were taken.
“It’s a joke, right?”
“I don’t want to take advantage of you. In fact, I’m giving away a discounted price, since I feel bad for you, a person with the problematic evil eye who the healing magician responsible for it had died. In other cities, this coin bag would be taken too…”
“…Trust me. It’ll get rid of the pain.”
The healing magician divided it into small bottles and instilled the liquid into Walm’s eyes. The burning pain that plagued Walm faded out like a lie.
“To be honest, I was skeptical.”
It might be a side effect, but the muddy sea of thoughts also cleared, albeit a bit.
“It’s a drug made by an elf. Of course, it works like a wonder. The problem is that this isn’t a 100% cure for it.”
“This world, isn’t it so convenient…”
“Once a week, you will have to use this eye medicine. This much will last for about a year, but if your symptoms worsen, it will be even shorter. Consuming too much mana will put a strain on your eyes. Please refrain from using it.”
“… Since you asked, it seems you have some need for it. I don’t know if you’re a mercenary or an adventurer, but the high-ranking magic and skill can worsen the condition. There may be a time when you using it is unavoidable, but, Be prepared when you use it too much.”
“Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind.”
Walm, who became a defeated soldier and fell into the life of a drunkard, had no need of a wide-range attack such as 《Demon Fire》. Using such a big attack here, would turn many citizens to dust. No benefit he would gain for doing it.
“Is there any other way to heal it completely?”
“The Great Forest Alliance of the Three Big Countries may have more effective medicines, but the ones in that country are extremely low in distribution. You won’t be able to get them in this city. But—”
“There are miraculous items known as the Three Hidden Treasures of Healing. All defects and diseases can be cured, but even the royal family and the great aristocrats cannot get it. The “Crimson Grass” appeared inside the deep layer of a labyrinth in the Labyrinth City. An “Elixir” made by the elf from refining the world tree sap. A miracle drug called “Water of Life” whose producer and origin are unknown. All of them are supreme items that are effective against all diseases and heal even defects. All of them are hard to get. Asking for it would be pointless.”
All sounded like a mythical item that only appeared in a story Walm had ever read.
In reality, maintaining the present situation would be the best, but one year’s worth of eye medicine already consumed most of the money. If Walm didn’t get something equivalent to eye medicine, the light would be lost again from his eyes.
“Let me give you another piece of advice as a healing magician. I also like alcohol, but you’re just overkill. Your body odor is the alcohol itself. Please keep it moderate.”
“Rest assured, my time for drinking has gone now. Thank you for the examination.”
Walm left the room with a small laugh. The receptionist was watching him from a long distance. When he bowed a little, the receptionist replied with a cramped smile.
“Please take good care of yourself”
Ironically, he could see the surroundings now after being hit by the reality that he had an incurable disease. He could see a bluish light shining through the stained glass into the room.
The fog in his cloudy consciousness was blown away by the medicine. After losing his homeland, he lived a self-deprecating life. More than enough. There was no doubt that this would be the last opportunity. Now, he needed to think seriously about how he should live in the future.
It was really ironic. What moved Walm, who was drowned in alcohol and cigarettes, wasn’t the pleasant things such as love, friendship, and homeland, but the unbearable pain of the evil eye.
As usual, he felt nauseating with his frivolousness.
The sun shone brightly outside, and people were everywhere on the streets.
“It’s so bright.”
It was safe to say that Walm was good at doing his assigned duties and jobs due to his original personality and military life. Even if it was a difficult task, he could bring himself to concentrate on it.
On the other hand, when told to live freely, Walm would feel like he just got crippled. Now, he had to abandon his decadent life and move forward even if he didn’t like it.
Looking at one spot, an old memorial monument stood out.
It was a statue of a soldier and a demon piercing each other, praising a soldier who was once killed in the attempt of the archipelago’s shaving of the Demon Territory.
Schistostega was growing in clusters, probably because the statue hadn’t been maintained for a while.
Walm took out the flask, and shook it to check the contents. When he opened the lid, a thick liquor smells drifted into the air, irritating his nasal passages.
“To an unnamed ancestor, it’s my offering.”
The contents were dripping into the silent statue. It was a farewell to show a kind of determination. That, alcohol wouldn’t be needed for a while.
After sprinkling all of the contents, Walm quietly started walking.
TN: Schistostega, also called luminous moss, is known for its glowing appearance in darkness.
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