Chapter 15:

Chapter 13: Test

Your Healer

Chapter 13: Test


After we recovered from last night, I immediately started planning some sort of final test for Kayla before we would end our boot camp and leave the school. Since I wanted to prepare her for one particular thing, I already had something in mind and just needed to find someone who would play a monster for me.

Of course, I had someone in mind because the circle of people I could ask was not that big. Let's go through my list. Hannah has no experience, Alex no experience, Nada no experience, so there is only one candidate left: Elliot.

I asked Alex to send him outside the dorm at a certain time so I could discuss everything with him. At first, he wasn't that excited about the role he had to play, but he agreed to help me in the end.

The last day of our boot camp had arrived, so I told Kayla about one last test before we would leave. We both put on our dungeon gear and went to the outskirts of the school campus where we had lots of nature and, in return, no other students near us.

"So, we fight again?" Kayla asked as she looked around the area where we stopped.

I shook my head, "No, I'm just here to watch you. And it won't be a fight. Your task is to run away. You'll have to pay attention to your surroundings; you might have to dodge some attacks, but your final goal is to reach the safe point. In real life, that would be the dungeon gate."

She nodded. "Sounds good. Where is Elliot?" she asked, smiling.

"Oh, I was going to surprise you," I said, waving Elliot over to us, who was hiding up a tree. He jumped and landed quite elegantly. I was sure that he had practiced this beforehand.

"Hello," Elliot said happily. I said I wouldn't tell anyone about our training fight if he helped out today. Since then, he has been in a great mood. As if it were a disgrace to lose to me…

"Kayla, listen and look," I pointed in a direction in the woods. "All you have to do is run in that direction. We have a red flag set up in a clearing. It's hard to miss it."

I nod in Elliot's direction, and he starts running ahead, disappearing between the trees.

"He will play the role of a monster that is hunting you. In this scenario, you know that you have to escape, that you can't win, and that you'll most likely die if you get caught… understood?"

Kayla exhaled loudly, "Yeah, got it." She didn't look too happy, but her eyes turned red as she turned around, "Just give me a sign when to start."

Somehow, I started to get a bad feeling, but now it was too late; everything was already prepared.



My anxiety rose to a new level; my heart could hardly bear to play tag, but now I was supposed to run away from a 'monster'... Miko explained several times why we were doing this boot camp. While I wanted to learn more about controlling my mana so I wouldn't collapse again, she focused on hammering the basics of self-defense and especially running away into my head and body.

I must admit that thanks to the last two weeks, I actually felt like I could manage to escape Elliot and pass this final test.

Every time I had some space between the trees, I used some wind magic to jump forward several meters, skipping over a lot of uneven terrain. Of course, I risked slipping and landing on my face, but I stopped thinking and concentrated on running.


A loud scream startled me, and a second later, something slammed to the ground beside me. It was Elliot, but he looked different, terrifyingly dangerous. Just the look in his eyes made me shudder. Everything happened in a single moment. I saw his hands moving in my direction. He was going to shoot something at me. What was I supposed to do? Miko told me to run and dodge... So, I won't fight back. I just can't get hit.

I turned my gaze forward. It didn't help that I could hear the thud of something crashing into the trees behind me and the rustling of leaves that Elliot was running through. I didn't even know how close he was. I couldn't turn my head.

Focus, I need to focus. I noticed that I hardly checked my surroundings anymore. Right now, it was mostly luck that I managed to escape. I could run into a tree or get hit by one of his attacks at any moment.

Calm down!

I can't go on like this! Yes, Miko said what I should do, but in the end, I just had to reach the gate. Yes, she said that I would most likely die if I got caught, but she never said that I can't try to fight back. I slowed down and turned around; Elliot was nowhere to be seen.

"That was a mistake." His words rang through the trees; I couldn't tell from which direction his voice came. I couldn't answer. Despite deciding to fight back, I wasn't a bit more relaxed or less stressed. My heart was beating fast, and my breathing was unsteady.

"Gotcha." His voice was right in my ear as if he were standing right next to me, whispering. I reflexively turned around and swung my right arm in that direction, only to hit an invisible wall. "Aagh..." That hurt like hell.

I leaned against the barrier and touched it in different places to check if it was leaking. But it seemed to be perfectly closed off... Was this wall only behind me, or did he create a veil? Was it his magic, or did he use an item? Dealing with these questions helped me at least a little bit to suppress my fear.

"Do you want to die so badly? Why did you give me the time to catch you?" his voice sounded scary. If I didn't know he was playing a role, I could swear he was actually planning to end my life sooner or later.

"Stop hiding!" I shouted. But my scream had no echo at all. "What the...?" And then he jumped down from one of the trees, holding a dagger in each hand. I responded by shooting a blast of wind in his direction, but he simply sliced the mana in half with his blade, avoiding a hit altogether.

He still came flying my way. I launched myself forward, dodging the impact. When I turned around, I saw Elliot pull one of his daggers out of the tree that was next to me. Would he really have hit me if I hadn't dodged?

"Are you stupid?" I asked, appalled. We weren't supposed to really kill each other!

"You're asking if I'm the stupid one?" he laughed. I quickly got up again and walked backward to put some distance between us. But he wasn't in a hurry. He slowly came closer.

What am I supposed to do? I don't even know how to attack someone with the intention of hurting them. I don't know if he could dodge or block my attack… What if I accidentally injure him?

"You will die. You are already dead." He said, staring at me with his shining red eyes. I kept walking backward, not adverting my eyes from him. I ended up hitting the other side of the invisible wall, at which I let myself sink down to the ground. My legs were trembling, my heart was racing. I wanted to cry.

Why do I have to go through this? Have I done anything to Miko? Did she want to punish me, teach me a lesson? Wasn't she the one who said that I needn't be afraid because she will protect me? Is she going to show up at any moment now? She saves me from the monster, plays my hero, and expects me to thank her?

I felt a mixture of all feelings. I was scared, sad, and lonely, but one feeling took over for a moment.


Elliot chuckled. "Look who's giving up." Then he jumped in my direction, again pointing his daggers at me.

I sighed, looked him straight in the eye, and swung my right hand in his direction as if I were trying to swat an annoying fly. Almost all my mana was sucked out of me at once.

The noises around me sounded like I was in the middle of a storm; the wind howled, and the trees cracked. I wrapped my arms around my legs and hid my face. I didn't want to see anything or anyone.


My initial plan was to wait at the end position, but after I heard and felt a vast wind spell coming from nearby, I rushed to where it came from.

I don't exaggerate if I say that I was a bit shocked by the destruction I discovered as I closed in on the location. Several trees were uprooted; some broke in half by whatever they got hit.

The first person my eyes found was Elliot lying on his back. Just some meters ahead, Kayla was sitting on the ground, obviously being the source of the destruction. I instantly knew that it was my fault whatever happened here.

I cautiously approached Kayla, passing Elliot to check if he was okay. He looked stressed out but not injured, so I kept walking.

"I'm sorry."

I couldn't see her face, but I heard her crying. It would have been easy to blame Elliot for that, but I clearly instructed him to corner her, to frighten her. I wanted her to get a taste of the horror you can meet inside a dungeon.

She wasn't answering, and honestly, I did not know what else I could say. My heart ached terribly; my chest felt tight.

Slowly, I reached out to her, but she slapped my hand away before I could touch her shoulder. She lifted her head slightly just for me to meet her eyes gazing at me angrily.

That alone was enough to tell me to get lost, but I couldn't.

"Kayla... I'm sorry, I didn't plan for it to turn out like this."

"Fuck off." She said in the coldest tone possible.

And so, I turned around, returning to where I came from.

I bit my lip until it threatened to start bleeding, and I had to fight the tears. I was so frustrated about so many things at once.

About myself and my stupid idea to test her at all.

About Elliot, even though he was told to do this.

About Kayla, because she hurts me so much.

Back at the flag that marked the end of today's test, I dropped to the ground. I just sat there and tried not to think about anything. At some point, I lost all sense of time. Only the slowly setting sun reminded me of it.

A gentle rustling of the leaves pulled me back to reality. Elliot and Kayla were approaching me slowly. I quickly got up. I wanted to approach Kayla but held back.

Both of us were staring at the ground. I can't remember the last time I felt this bad.

From the sounds the ground beneath us made, I could tell she was now almost standing before me, so I lifted my head and looked up at her.

I teared up the moment I saw her face. Her eyes were red from all the crying, and her lips trembled. My body moved itself, and I hugged her tightly.

She also put her arms around me and started talking, her voice shaky.

"I'm sorry, but I just can't do this anymore. I don't want to fight or run away from anything. I want to quit."

She started crying, and so did I.

I stroked her back. "It's alright if you want to quit. I support you. I am so proud of you."

I never took a moment to think about how Kayla must have felt inside. She had her own life, her job, hobbies she pursued, and certainly some friends and acquaintances, and I ripped her out of that life.

It doesn't matter if it was Lilith who ordered me to recruit her. It doesn't matter that Kayla accepted joining the guild. It doesn't matter if she could heal someone who was as good as dead.

What is important is what she really wants to do, and I never once questioned why she tried to do everything we told her to do... Was she afraid of the consequences if she said no? Did she think about our feelings if she had just given up and gone back to her old life?

The thought of leading or having to live a different life has never occurred to me. My path was presented to me from the beginning, and I only had to follow it.


I hated myself for being so emotional. I slapped Miko's hand and told her to fuck off. Even though I didn't understand how her head worked, I was sure I hurt her feelings with my reaction.

I was just so angry at everyone and everything, especially myself. Ever since I joined the guild, everything had gone so smoothly. Even the horrible sight of someone being pierced by a sword was a good memory for me because I was able to save his life with my healing magic.

Only now was I thrown back into reality. I never once thought about how surreal this whole situation was. While most people are living a normal life, going to school, working a 9-5 job, and enjoying life as much as possible, I was in a boot camp to improve my mana control and prepare to run for my life from some kind of monster.

I envied every person who was not in my situation. I wanted to return to a life where my greatest concern was deciding what to have for dinner...


Miko and I were sitting on the forest ground, leaning on each other back-to-back. After hugging for around five minutes, we were too embarrassed to look at each other anymore. Elliot also left us alone, looking kind of satisfied.

"Did I pass?"


"Nice." I chuckled. "Sorry for hitting you."

"I deserved worse than that... So, don't worry."



"I won't quit."

"You're sure?"

"Despite everything, I got the feeling that this life is better than my old one."

"I hope I am not the reason you want to keep doing this."


I did not lie. Miko was important to me, very important. I couldn't imagine a life where I wouldn't see her anymore. But even if I left the guild, I would surely have found ways to spend time with her.

I also didn't see myself as a hero that the country needs because many people in various fields of work are doing excellent service to society.

The reason for my decision not to give up was much more selfish. I wanted to be able to say at some point I am proud of myself, just like Miko did, and a return to my old life would take away any chance I had of achieving that goal.

"It is so late already…" Miko sighed. "I write Lilith that we will come home tomorrow instead."

"Sounds good. I need a shower and a good night's sleep."

"Want to cuddle tonight?"

I jumped up. "Wha.. what?"

"Just joking." She laughed and also stood up from the ground.

"But you can take my hand, not that you get lost in the woods."

Of course, I accepted her offer because I could not bear any more hardship today.

The sun had already set when we arrived at the dorm. In our room, we were greeted by the entire student council. It's not that I didn't want to see them.... but all their faces had an extremely uncomfortable expression.

Obviously, they knew what had happened, but they didn't know what to do or say right now. But I was glad that they had decided to visit us.

We talked a lot about today, and in the end, we could all laugh about what had happened. The saddest part was that we would be going home in the morning. Hannah, Alex, Nada, and Elliot had already announced they had some presents for us, but we had to wait until tomorrow.

After they left, I took my long-awaited shower and jumped straight into bed after putting on my pajamas. We still had to put some stuff in our bags, but Miko insisted that I could go to sleep already; she would join me after packing.

I slept like a rock and barely managed to get up. But Miko kept shaking me until I finally got out of bed. We got dressed, took our bags, and said goodbye to our room.

The walk to the parking lot was very relaxed. Some students waved goodbye to us. Others assured us that we were always welcome here. Miko and I smiled the whole time, even though we would miss the school in some ways.

When we arrived at our car, we were greeted by our newfound friends, but a few other things caught my eye as well.

An elderly, very important-looking man joined the four of them. And why exactly were Alex and Nada carrying luggage and backpacks?

"Good morning. I'm sorry I can only say goodbye and could not welcome you to our school."

The words he said, as well as his appearance and demeanor, revealed that he was the school's principal.

"Don't worry, Hannah was a great representative of your institution," Miko said, smiling. I loved that she always took control of the conversations I didn't want to be a part of.

"I'm glad to hear that. I didn't really want to barge in on your farewell meeting, but there are a few things I need to tell you before you leave. First, I'd like to offer you both a scholarship. I've heard a lot about you, and I'm sure you'd be a great addition to our school."

I was speechless because after seeing how peaceful a life with magic can be compared to the harsh reality of dungeon diving, I would have been lying if I said I wasn't interested in the idea of studying here.

"Thank you very much for the offer. We must decline for now, but we may get back to you one day." Miko spoke for both of us.

The principal sighed, "I didn't expect you to accept, but I'm still a little sad about it." He smiled at us with a kind expression.

"Regarding my other request, there is apparently a mission coming up where members of various guilds and our school are joining forces. Would you be so kind as to take our participants with you?"

Miko and I looked at each other in confusion; we had not heard a single word about any mission from Lilith. But we were talking about Lilith. Probably, she wanted to surprise us, or she had simply forgotten to tell us about it.

Nada and Alex approached us. "We were offered to go by train, but sharing a car with you guys for a few hours sounded much better," Alex explained with a grin on her face.

"Do you have more details about that mission for us, please?" Miko asked, still a bit shocked.

"You will investigate the dungeon with the second gate in it. We must find out how Sami's guild could have been ambushed." The principal answered.

"But why sending students?"

"Because Alex has been studying dungeons for years, without meaning it disrespectfully in terms of theoretical knowledge, she's way ahead of the game compared to you mages and witches… And Nada, despite her young age, is very knowledgeable about magical items and could help you discover something the others haven't."

I was happy that we could spend more time together, but now it was inevitable that I would finally enter a dungeon for the first time.

"Who accepted that mission? We can't justify sending students into a dangerous dungeon." Miko sounded very composed. I kind of expected her to get angry, but she seemed concerned at best.

"I am glad you are worried about my students, but I would never have agreed to this special operation without feeling safe. The King's Guild will send their co-leader. That fact alone should relax you a little."

Miko chuckled, "Great, fighting monsters with monsters. Thanks for the info." She bowed slightly and turned to Alex and Nada. "Let me put your stuff in the car so you and the others can say goodbye to Kayla."

"Are you including yourself in that statement?" the director said quietly while Miko focused on the others' luggage. "I hope to see you again, and good luck." He said in conclusion before walking towards the exit of the parking lot.

After he left, we said goodbye to Hannah and Elliot. Both had gifts for us. Hannah gave me a little teddy bear and told me to cuddle with it rather than a massive piece of wood... Elliot gave me a huge package of chocolate and apologized again for yesterday.

Miko also got some sweets from Elliot. From Hannah, she got some advice, but unfortunately, I didn't know which one. They both walked a few meters away, and Hannah whispered something in Miko's ear. After she finished, Hannah started laughing, and Miko looked at me with a serious gaze before she started smiling.

And so, we finally made our way home with Alex and Nada. I just enjoyed the ride without really grasping what to expect from this mission. Looking back, I never expected it to turn out the way it did.