Chapter 4:

Interlude 1: Loss

Your Healer

Interlude 1: Loss



I heard a muffled scream… I couldn't tell where it came or who it was from.

I'm sure not a single member of our guild was thinking about dying today.

A few hours ago, we were annoyed that we had to wait to enter the dungeon. Our time is valuable, we thought.

But I experienced how unimportant time was, how quickly a life can end… just a single second and any thought of the past or the future was irrelevant.

Here we are, losing our lives to creatures that are supposed to be stupid and weak.

To the same creatures we fought countless times before.

Not once have I cared about the feelings of these monsters, but at this moment, I wonder if we share similar thoughts before we die.

Do they think about what their lives might have been like if we hadn't invaded their world?

Do they have regrets?

Maybe we deserve what happened today… perhaps we deserve to taste the terror they endured from the moment they were born.

I don't want to die.

Looking back, I didn't accomplish much in my life. I was forced to get my mage license when I was a child. I immediately joined a guild and killed for the first time when I was just thirteen years old.

At that time, I was so focused on the praise and money I earned for ending lives that everything revolved around that. But on the inside, it was eating me up.

If I get out of here alive, I have to quit this job. I want to start living a life worth living.

But was it really that bad? You could actually say that I am a hero.

How many lives have I saved by killing these monsters?

I can't stop now… I need to protect the defenseless.

Another kind of scream snapped me out of my thoughts.

One of our new members, a young girl with the rare ability to use healing magic, was trying to get away from an orc-like creature.

Her legs were crippled, and her mana was already used up.

Our guild paid a lot of money to her parents, so she would leave her hometown and join our guild.

Now, she would die before she had even started her new life. It was her first job, and we had promised her that it would be easy-going.

We already looked for a place to celebrate her first mission and her future with us.

But I could still save her. I immediately ran away when I realized we were overpowered by the enemies. I had enough mana left to use a lightning spell with a paralyzing effect on the orc. The distance was pretty big, but I could hit it!

Small particles shot out of my hand, and a moment later, the orc's body began to twitch. The contracted muscles made movement impossible.

My vision was blurry, but with small steps, I walked toward the enemy, unsheathing my knife, ready to end one life to save another.

It stank so much of scorched flesh and blood that it was hard to concentrate, but my body was acting on its own. I slit the orc's throat, and it took its last breath only a few seconds later.

The young girl was terrified, and I tried to comfort her. With a big smile on my face, I offered her my hand. She took it, and I helped her stand up so that I could carry her.

I felt a sharp, brief pain in my back as I picked her up, even though she was as light as a feather.

"Thank you so, so much, and I am so sorry." She started crying.

She did not have to apologize… it was not her fault. Even with an experienced healer, we would have lost that fight.

We managed to reach the dungeon gate.

Teleported back into our world, shocked faces greeted us.

I'm sure they thought we were already dead.

"Sorry we worried you," I said with a grin, trying to ease the tension.

"It's all right… please lie down slowly. A healer is already on the way." one of my colleagues said, terror written on his face.

"I'm fine, but she needs immediate attention."

"Who… are you talking about?" he asked, tearing up.

"That rookie, our healer girl." Suddenly, I realized that I no longer felt a weight on my shoulders. I was no longer carrying anyone.

I froze the moment I touched something cold and metallic in my back, in the place where the girl was supposed to be. What was going on?


I remember now.

I did not save her.

I came too late, and I got stabbed when I desperately tried to secure her corpse.

I was so stuck in my desperate fantasy of being a hero that my mind played tricks on me.

The stifling smell of blood that filled my nose came from my own wound.

Looking down at my body, I discovered the sword sticking out of my torso.

Even if our healer was still alive, I was done for.

And to be honest, I don't deserve to be saved.

I failed at the one thing I'm good for. I watched her getting killed.

There was no point anymore.

I am tired. I want to rest. Is it okay to relax now?

As requested before, I laid down.

The last things I will remember are these faces of horror.

If I had a last wish, I would want my eyes to see something beautiful again, just one last time.