Chapter 30:

Ch 30 - Apology and Remuneration

St Chaos Healer

I could hear distant inaudible noise.
I have been going through this situation several times already.Bookmark here

The voice that I heard sounded distressed and concerned.
I couldn’t properly hear it but it sounded very~ familiar.Bookmark here

It was kinda soothing.Bookmark here

“Ben~”Bookmark here

“Benji~”Bookmark here

It was my name being called by someone familiar.Bookmark here

That’s when I finally opened my eyes and found myself in our room.
In front of me, I saw my mother looking at me with a concerned look. Her eyes were red and her hair was a mess.Bookmark here

She looked like she was crying for a long time.Bookmark here

“Mother…” I called out for her.Bookmark here

She quickly grabbed my hand in her hands and held it closer to her face.
The moist eyes again started flooding as tears rolled down her cheek.Bookmark here

“I am glad that you are alive. I thought for once that you will never open your eyes, ever again,” she said with a solemn voice.Bookmark here

“Heh. Some moving rock can’t get the likes of me. I’ve got your blood in me after all.” I replied with a smile.Bookmark here

Judging by her situation it looked like she was crying for a whole day.
How long was I passed out?
What happened, everything was like a blur to me.Bookmark here

“Ow!” I cried after getting hit on the head by my mother’s fist.Bookmark here

“You idiot. This is the second time that I thought I almost lost you. Can’t you give your poor mother a rest already?” she shouted angrily.Bookmark here

“...”Bookmark here

I didn’t say anything and remained silent.Bookmark here

The last thing I remember is that I was in the midst of my second trial which went very well.
I even managed to fully grasp the sword and waited for the coronation ceremony to begin.Bookmark here

But then suddenly the statue dropped the crown and attacked me out of nowhere.
I tried to flee but seeing that I couldn’t escape the statue’s reach, I decided to stand my ground.Bookmark here

Then the next thing I remember waking up here, back in our room.Bookmark here

Did the earth statue which conducted the trial go berserk?
Or was this intentional misconduct in play?Bookmark here

I can’t say which is which.Bookmark here

For some reason, I was back in our room.
My father was also here standing beside my mother holding her shoulder to comfort her.
But unlike his carefree attitude he had a serious face for a change.Bookmark here

“How dare the examiners let our son get hurt like this.” scowled my father in anger, “I must go and have a talk with the wagon manager. According to the code of conduct of the ceremony train, the organizers and the examiners both have equal responsibility for the safety of the candidates. In the case of endangering a candidate's life, the organizers in charge will be met with serious consequences that are according to the rulebook of the ceremony train provided to the general public.”Bookmark here

It seems my dad had read the entire ceremony train rule book when I was passed out. Don’t tell me they will go ahead and try to sue the organizers.Bookmark here

My mother stood beside him with her clenched fist in front of her face,
“Let’s go and give those arrogant and abhorrent organizers a piece of my mind. So what if we came from a commoner’s background, there is a limit to what we can tolerate. But endangering our Benji’s life like this, they have crossed the line.”Bookmark here

“My dear~ You should stay here with Benji. Let me do the talking, alright?” refuted my father.Bookmark here

“Hey, you don’t know how to deal with those arrogant pricks. For all I know, you would get distracted and start talking about your antique collections instead of seeking answers. Let me do the talking and you stay here.”Bookmark here

“Hey! I might be a bit obsessed with selling wares but I am a father first and then a merchant. So I know what I should and shouldn’t talk about-”Bookmark here

“Please don’t even get me started. That one time-”Bookmark here

And thus my parents began bickering.Bookmark here

These two were out for blood if they head out of the room.
I wouldn’t be surprised if these two go and pick a fight with mages barehanded.
And that would result in the annihilation of the Almond family.Bookmark here

Of course, I wanted to avoid this situation at all costs.Bookmark here

I tried moving my body and getting up from the bed but failed to do so.
It seemed I was paralyzed from the neck down. Although I could subtly move fingers and toes to a certain extent. Other than that, my entire functions were down the count.Bookmark here

As my parents were in a heated argument, the door of our room opened suddenly.Bookmark here

Two people entered our room and stood in the entrance connection to our room.
One was a man in his 40s with long hair with a black fedora over his head. He wore a black long coat and a pair of circular circle glasses with a small lens. In his hand, he gripped a wooden cane with an intricate design of a hawk in the handle. He was Bervice Grate, the wagon manager that had welcomed us aboard our wagon.Bookmark here

Next Bervice was a rather young girl beside him.
The girl with a rather short stature adorning a witch hat on top of her frilly purple hair. She was dressed in black like a witch being armed with a wooden staff.Bookmark here

It was none other than Urza Leneizel, the healer in charge of the 2nd trial.Bookmark here

“It seems that we have arrived at the wrong time but please overlook this one time. You might be having a rather important conversation but I hope you can delay it for some other time. '' said manager Bervice in a humble tone.Bookmark here

Despite his humble tone, he was rather commanding us.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Miss Urza standing beside the manager was glaring daggers at me for some reason.Bookmark here

I tried to get up from the bed but I couldn’t even lift my head.Bookmark here

Dad for a second could stay calm.
But if my mother let her emotions do the talking, she will definitely pick a fight with the manager. I could even foresee her relying on violence. The future of the Almond family seemed to be grim.Bookmark here

My father who was just furious a moment ago had gotten cold feet.
I couldn’t even see a speck of the previous fury in his face.Bookmark here

He instead tried to pull mother back and tried calming her down. But my mother just freed from my father’s grasp and stood in front of the manager.Bookmark here

With her brows knitted, she stared at the manager with scorn,
“Oh no. You rather came at the right time. We two just were about to head to look for you. I happen to learn that some mage just lost control of his power and nearly killed my son in the trial. This is the second time his life is being endangered. The first time was when a mana beast invaded our village after some dumb adventuring mages decided to practice spells at the edge of the defensive array, compromising the barrier. But the ceremony train had gathered rather exceptional mages, so how could you let this happen? I hope you guys have a good explanation or I will be dragging everyone to the civil court.”Bookmark here

“Bethenny! Calm down for god sake. Let me handle this.” my father turned around facing the manager, “Please I apologize for her demeanor. You can certainly understand a mother’s emotions seeing her son in such a state. I hope we could take this conversation to someplace else~”Bookmark here

“Arthur! I am more than capable to participate in this conversation-”Bookmark here

My father cupped his hand over my mother’s mouth.
“Beth, let me deal with this situation-”Bookmark here

Before the drama could escalate, the manager removed his hat and bowed his head in front of my parents. Miss Urza, who was just glaring at me a while ago, did the same.Bookmark here

“On behalf of the entirety of the ceremony organizers apologize for endangering your son’s life. The supervisor in charge of conducting the trial has been relieved from his duties and we are conducting an investigation as to why he lost his control over his earth golem.”Bookmark here

He continued,
“Your displeasure as a parent is understandable and the ceremony organizers take full responsibility. You have no reason to hide your displeasure, as a parent, you have all the right to be displeased. I brought along Miss Urza, a healer mage who is here to check up on your son.”Bookmark here

Miss Urza stepped forward and greeted my parents with a bow,
“Do you mind if I perform healing magic? He is out of danger but the healing process has drained his stamina. I brought along some potions and medicine that shall help him get up on his feet in no time.”Bookmark here

My mother hesitated for a while but she agreed.Bookmark here

Miss Urza without wasting any time came beside me and quickly used her special magic to grow a bunch of mysterious flowers beside me on the bed. The flowers quickly blossomed and showered me with a mysterious light that made me feel much better.Bookmark here

For some reason, Miss Urza was still glaring at me rather while casting her spell.Bookmark here

Thanks to Miss Urza’s quick action to intrude and restrain the statue when it went berserk. Otherwise, I might have been a goner for sure.Bookmark here

I bet she was the one who also patched me up after that incident.
I rather ignored her glares and was more focused on my parents.Bookmark here

Bervice, the wagon manager, was still standing at the entrance.
My parents, especially my mother, were standing in front of him with her arms folded blocking the way. She was not in the mood to welcome the manager into our room.Bookmark here

The two were in a state of deadlock.Bookmark here

After a minute of silence, the manager finally let out a sigh.
“I understand your fury to an extent. I have a daughter as well so I can understand your anger as a fellow parent. The organizers were rather keen on declaring your kid to have cheated on the trial which resulted in this mishap.”Bookmark here

“Huh?!” my mother let out a cold scowl, “Your colleague can’t control his pet rock which resulted in my child being in such a state. Instead of admitting your mistake, you wanted to blame it on my son! How dare they say such a thing.”Bookmark here

“I agree with you, Mrs. Almond. So I personally gave those organizers a stern talking and piece of my mind. There was certainly something wrong with supervisor Canith.”Bookmark here

“Of course it is!” chimed in my dad.Bookmark here

Just when the station manager reached into his coat pocket,
“Mere words can’t quell your anger. Hence for the compensation, I brought you this.”Bookmark here

In the next second, he took out 3 golden cards in his hand.
The card had a design of a goat with long spiral horns on it.Bookmark here

“This is…”, my mother went silent.
Even my father was dumbfounded with jaws wide open.Bookmark here

The manager gave a light cough,
“I guess, seeing your reaction you must know what this is. But I shall say this anyway. The organizers have assigned the Almond family three golden passes at the VIP front to take part in the ceremony. This isn’t enough as remuneration for endangering your son’s life but this should at least solve all your healing problems and even alleviate his health to the next level.”Bookmark here

My father rushed to the side of the manager,
“You… Really handing down the golden passes for the ceremony event? Are you sure if we could take this?”Bookmark here

“I give my word. After getting off the ceremony train, one of my trusted men will accompany you to the event venue.”Bookmark here

“Well, it seems that the ceremony organizers are competent enough to compensate. This isn’t enough to forgive you so easily. But we shall take it and I hope such a mistake never occurs ever.” said my mother sternly.Bookmark here

The manager responded with a nod,
“That is alright with me. Now that is settled, I must take my leave as I have other pressing matters that I must attend to.”Bookmark here

The manager finally glanced at me,
“Kid, you sure are talented to survive a blow of an earth golem powered by an earth spirit. Maybe it was a goddess of luck on your side or your own strong resolve. Either way, I hope to hear great things from you and wish you to become a renowned mage one day. Until then I wish you luck.” saying so the manager left the room with puzzled minds.Bookmark here

My father was astounded,
“Did he wish for our son to become a renowned mage? Does that mean that our son has passed the trial? Or am I hearing things?”Bookmark here

Meanwhile, my mother was horrified with a white face,
“What did he just say?!” she turned to Miss Urza, “My son was attacked by an earth spirit golem and not just regular earth golem? What the hell! Why did no one tell me about this! They can take back their golden pass and shove it up their-”Bookmark here

My father quickly cupped her mouth,
“Calm down Beth!”Bookmark here

Thus the fiasco lasted for a couple of more minutes until my mother finally calmed down.Bookmark here

My father sat on the couch while holding on to the golden pass tightly. He eventually passed out right on the sofa. My mother sat next to me for a while who also fell asleep.Bookmark here

It was just me and Miss Urza who were still performing the heal spell.Bookmark here

For some reason, she was still glaring at me without saying a word.Bookmark here

I was in no mood to converse with her either but finally, I remembered something.Bookmark here

“Um~ Miss Urza? How long have I passed out?” I asked.Bookmark here

“It’s been an entire day now since the second trial. The third trial ended yesterday. You are lucky that-”Bookmark here

“That means the puppet show event is going to happen today, right?” I asked curiously.Bookmark here

Miss Urza was a bit puzzled,
“Uh~ the puppet show? Oh now that you mention it, I remember Heinck’s did tell me something about conducting some show. He is a mage who uses puppet magic and loves storytelling and if I am not wrong he had a show today during lunchtime. But you should instead focus on healing-”Bookmark here

“What time is it?”Bookmark here

“It is lunchtime already”Bookmark here

I quickly got up from my bed.
My body was still in pain and there were bandage wraps in my arms.Bookmark here

“Hey!~” Miss Urza shouted.Bookmark here

“Hush” I signaled with my finger on the lips.Bookmark here

I pointed at my parents who were still asleep.
My dad was sleeping on the couch while my mother fell asleep next to me while still sitting on a seat next to me.Bookmark here

“I must attend that event anyway possible,” I replied.Bookmark here

Miss Urza gave me a weird look,
“I guess you have a thing for puppet shows. Uh, ~ kids.”Bookmark here

I didn’t bother to argue any further.
I can finally learn what transpired after my death.Bookmark here

Who exactly was this demon king they were talking about?Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.