Under the Oak Tree - Chapter 138
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Translator – LL
Proofreader – Nymeria
The next day, after some hesitation, Max headed back to the library. Fortunately, Ruth greeted her with an air of relief, acting like nothing had happened. She sat with the magic book opened and stared at it for a while. After getting so angry the day before, she was embarrassed to talk again. For a long time, Max struggled to open her mouth, only looking blurrily at the letters in the book.
“Uh, what I said yesterday… I m-mean…”
Ruth, who in the meanwhile was focused on his job, looked at her. Max swallowed and continued awkwardly.
“Y-You told me i-if I practice m-my way of speaking, I’ll get better. H-How should I d-do it?”
Ruth nodded, “Oh, about that,” and soon responded in a sour way.
“Well, if you’d like, I’ll look for an efficient calibration. But first, wouldn’t it be helpful to talk as much as possible in a comfortable environment?”
“Talk as much as possible…?”
“The more you do, the better you get. You should stay calm and talk as much as you can. When you’re excited your speech gets faster and you stutter get worse. In that case, remaining calm seems more important than anything else.”
Being criticized so directly, she lowered her eyes with embarrassment.
“Oh, I-I got it. And… w-well, what should I do?”
“Well… wouldn’t it be helpful to practice talking slowly and clearly? It’s okay if it’s slow. The purpose is to master the pronunciation, you can do that practicing your speaking over and over again.”
Max uncomfortably rolled her eyes around, blushed and slowly spoke, loosening her stiff tongue.
“I… got it… Like this?”
“Yes, like that. You should be patient and slowly say what you want to say.”
“If this doesn’t work, I’ll look for another way to correct it. Let’s try one way or another.”
Max, who thought there might be a special way to correct it, looked slightly disappointed. Well, no matter how smart Ruth was, he was not omniscient. In the end there wasn’t an easy way to fix it, so Max buried her face in the book again, holding in her disappointment. Ruth, who stared at this scene and stroked his chin as if he was thinking about something, opened his mouth again.
“Well, in the end you didn’t get to practice yesterday.”
Max hardened her face by Ruth’s easy-going words.
“If I… go… There might be c-chaos once again…”
“We’re not going to the training ground. Isn’t this castle full of people besides knights? If we go to the kitchen, there might be at least one or two servants who cut their hands while cutting or cooking in front of the fire.”
“I’m sure there might be, but….”
When Max hesitated, Ruth spoke in a rather strong tone.
“It’s really important to master magic. No matter how many brilliant magic theories and sophisticated magic histories you put into your head, it’s useless if you don’t develop your ability to implement them.”
“I-I know… I j-just thought they wo-would hate it”
“The servants won’t hate it. They won’t be able to take care of minor injuries because they’re busy working all day, so they’d rather like it if you give them treatment.”
After hesitating, Max finally got up from her shabby seat. As he said, she couldn’t avoid it forever, however she barely had the courage to ask since she had suffered a bitter rejection the day before. Max chased Ruth like a goat being dragged to the slaughterhouse.
What if she failed to test the magic in front of the servants? In that case, Max thought she was going to be ridiculed because of it. With a grim imagination like a habit, Max pushed her feet into the kitchen. Fortunately or unfortunately, the kitchen, which was always crowded, was quiet on that day.
“Good morning, My Lady.”
The chef, whistling and stirring in the pot with a ladle, smiled cheerfully at her.
“Is there anything you need?”
“I-In particular, I’m here for business…”
At her mumbling words, Ruth held out like a watchman behind her and pushed her back with his shoulder. Max, who was frowning, sighed.
“J- just in case… I-Is there s-someone with a w-wound on the body or that has b-been hurt?
The chef scratched his big head with a puzzled look on his face. Ruth pushed her back one more time, as if suggesting her to explain it properly. Max, irritated by his behavior, glared at him and opened her mouth again.
“I-Is there someone who was c-cut with a knife… Burnt by fire… wrist or leg folded…?”
“That’s what happens every day! Especially that Chrome guy over there, he’s usually clumsy so his hands are all covered with wounds. Just a moment ago, he burned his palms while taking the bread out of the oven.”
Max turned her head and looked at the servant named Chrome. He was a small, thin boy with a face blackened by soot, maybe sixteen years old, and he was cutting something with a cloth wrapped around his palms. Max took a deep breath and then talked.
“Well, that boy… C-Can you call him for me?”
The chef, who had a curious look on his face, immediately called the boy.
“Hey! Chrome! Come here, My Lady is looking for you.”
At the loud shout of the chef, the boy flinched his back as if he had been struck by a lightning and ran like an arrow from a bow.
“What’s the matter, My Lady?”
Thinking he had made some mistake, the boy bent down with his face dyed black, while the chef gave a weird look, as if he was curious about what their Lady was looking for. Max spoke in a dignified manner after a bad, bad cough.
“I-I heard you got hurt… Can you s-show me?”
“You mean my hand, My Lady?”
Chrome, who was blinking his eyes with a puzzled face, unwrapped the cloth around his hand in a hurry: the red burn made his soft palms look very harsh. Max ignored his anxious eyes and took a deep breath, with her hand slightly resting on the wound, making the boy’s shoulders tremble because of the faint pain. Max felt sorry for him because she didn’t even explain anything of what she was doing. However, she thought it would make her more anxious if she explained it to him, so Max slowly boosted her mana without saying anything until a hot feeling gathered in the palm of her hand and began to permeate the boy’s wound smoothly. The servant also opened his eyes wide as he felt the pain slowly going away. Max slowly took her hand off after injecting enough mana only to see that the boy’s hands were healed cleanly.
“Oh, my God…!”
There was an exclamation everywhere. However, the person who was most surprised was Max. She didn’t know that she would succeed on her first attempt. Max, who stared blankly at the boy’s hand with a surprised face, suddenly jumped around Ruth.
“Ruth, it’s a success! I-I-I succeeded!”
“You did a great job! That’s great for being the first time!”
Ruth smiled broadly and patted her on the back. Encouraged by the success of the first spell, Max looked back at the servants and shouted confidently.
“I-I’ve been learning h-healing magic for weeks now. I-I need someone to p-practice with. Is there a-anyone else who has a s-scratch on their body?”
“Can we volunteer?”
Max looked back with surprise at the sudden sound of the voice. At the entrance of the kitchen stood Lord Hebaron and Lord Caron, with a young knight whose face she barely recognized. It was rare to run into knights at this time, unless they went to the blacksmith, so Max was embarrassed as if she had been caught red-handed. Lord Caron politely said to her: “I’m sorry if we surprised you.”
“I didn’t know you were this good, and we were disrespectful yesterday.”
“I- I understand…”
Max waved awkwardly at Hebaron who was deeply bowing to her, he then came inside scratching the back of his head awkwardly.
“I got hurt during the battle… Can I get treatment now?”
He showed her a small scratch on the back of his hand. Max’s eyes alternated between his face and the back of his hand with a puzzled face, she couldn’t really get a grasp on the sudden change in attitude of the knight. When she didn’t answer back, Hebaron’s face looked bitter.
“As expected, the behavior of yesterday made you feel… offended?”
“Oh, no! It’s just… I’m a l-little surprised. Come on, s-sit here. I-I’m going to…”
The servants quickly brought chairs for them to sit down and the knights lined up in front of her, pretending in an exaggerated way to be in pain. Max swallowed. If she failed because she was nervous… Max felt a lot of pressure on her shoulders because she thought it would be a disgrace. Ruth, who was watching the scene from behind, laughed.
“You don’t have to be too nervous. Everyone was worried about what happened yesterday, so they came here with an excuse.”
“What are you talking about? I’m bleeding like this!”
Hebaron’s word impressed her and then she didn’t even notice anything else, starting to focus. Pointing to the visible wound she said: “I’m afraid it’ll be a fail, but…”
Ruth clicked his tongue as if it were absurd and she inadvertently smiled at the large, distracted knight. Suddenly, she felt much lighter. Max relaxed and put a healing spell on the knight’s hand. Seeing the scar disappearing in a blink of an eye, Hebaron poured out enthusiastic praise as if he had never witnessed even greater magic, so Max finally burst into laughter at the ridiculous exaggerated attitude. When he saw it, Hebaron smiled along.
“Don’t mind what Uslin said yesterday, he just likes to say whatever comes to his mind.”
“I-I don’t mind.”
“That’s a relief.”
Hebaron smiled and got up from his seat, Max then proceeded to cast healing spells on the knights one after another. Once she had healed all the knights, she even treated the minor wounds of her servants. Except for the boy whose hands were burned, all those injuries were good enough to be left alone, but Max quickly became exhausted anyway, due to her little amount of mana. However, her heart was full of energy and she smiled proudly as she wiped her sweaty forehead. Even if it wasn’t that great, she was so happy to be able to help someone. It was a meaningful development for her, who had always been told that she was a useless human being: she seemed to have gained value for the first time in her life.
“If you don’t mind, please feel free to make us a test subject. I’ll tell the other knights.”
Hebaron looked back at the lady just before he went outside. Max nodded with a shy smile.
TL – way to go Maxx!