Chapter 21: Let’s grow a Doriad
「Ex…Excuse me? 」
As soon as we entered the tower, someone apologized to us. We somehow managed to arrive at this tower after encountering a heavy snowfall on the way. My opponent was a person named the Snow Witch. Did my opponent have strong battle abilities!? I entered the tower thinking deeply about it. But, she was nothing what I imagined her to be!
Well, I wondered if my opponent was really supposed to act like that in the first place. It was a bit sudden and I became utterly confused.
「Oh, Dora! I’m glad you’re safe. 」
Suddenly, Dora appeared right in front of me and jumped on my shoulder. What? Who would have thought that the rescue would succeed so quickly? However, I noticed that the witch girl stood in front of us with her head down. It looked like I could go home without any problems.
「Master, can you help this person? 」
「Hmm? What do you mean? 」
Come to think of it, she certainly said to help her when we arrived here. I’d like to ask her why. On this instant, the Snow Witch appeared from behind my back. She took off her hat and looked at me. Then, she went back inside again. She came near me without saying anything. But, I thought I understood what her eyes hidden beneath her hair meant to say. Did she want us to follow her?
I asked for Lily and Fitis’ advice, but it seemed that they left the decision to me. Well, something was definitely going on. Since I had the trouble to come here, I thought it wouldn’t be a problem to tag along a bit longer. With this feeling, I followed the Snow Witch. After walking for a while, we arrived in a large hall. The floor of the hall was covered in soil. In the center, was a woman laying down. Her lower body was stuck on the soil.
「A Doriad. 」
Fitis muttered right next to me. Ah, I see. So, that was a Doriad. When I tried to approach her, the Snow Witch grabbed my sleeves with desperation. That made me blush.
「…This child. 」
Her words and her expression made me realize that the situation was not good. Ma…Maybe this child was sick…I wonder? So, she wanted me to help her? Anyway, I approached the Doriad. I checked this child’s condition. However, I wasn’t a doctor, or a tree researcher, or even a monster doctor. How could I help? But, the moment I touched this child, I knew that she was very weak.
On that moment, the Doriad looked at me and opened her mouth.
「…Are you the Mandragora’s master? I’m really sorry. Isu caused you trouble. 」
I answered her.
「Ah, no. She was safely returned to me. So, there is no problem. 」
「You’re looking for symptoms because Isu asked your help? I think you understand somehow. I won’t be able to be cured anymore.」
I had no choice but to nod quietly. I agreed to what the Doriad told to me. The moment I touched this child, I knew immediately that this Doriad was weak. This weakness was probably caused by living too long in the cold climate. Even if we took her out of this place straightaway, this child will not make it in time.
「…I…I refuse to accept it. 」
Who spoke those words was the Snow Witch called Isu. Although her hair hid most of her eyes, I knew that she had a crying expression on her face.
「I don’t want to lose Dori…! Please, don’t die…! Be…Because…you’re my…only and true friend…!」
She clung desperately on the Doriad while she cried. The Doriad was gentle towards her. She caressed her as if she was caring for her sister.
「I won’t be able to be here with you, Isu. But, you’re already an adult, Isu. You’ll be okay even if I’m not by your side.」
「…No…I refuse… 」
Isu was begging desperately to save the Doriad’s life. When I looked at this painful situation, I felt that I wanted to do something to help. However, as I mentioned before, I was not a doctor. But, when I was looking at the Doriad’s condition, something flashed through my mind. Maybe there was some solution to this problem.
「Miss Snow Witch. Can you listen? To tell you the truth, I can’t save your Doriad in her weak condition.」
The Snow Witch looked at me with teary eyes.
「But, I think there is a way. I mean, there may be a way to make her live. Let me try it. 」
In conclusion, a few days later, the Doriad died. We were not there, but I understood that the Snow Witch felt a deep sorrow with her passing. But, soon after, I tried my best to wipe her grief.
「How is it? Did you succeed? 」
I took a small sampling from the Doriad. I cultivated it and a little girl was born with just the upper body, while the lower part remained in the soil. The little girl was sleeping peacefully. The Snow Witch crouched and looked attentively at the little girl.
To cultivate the Doriad, I got a piece of her hair and a piece of her wood. I decided to plant her in my garden. I thought it was the so-called cutting-tree. I had seen in books that some plants grew by planting a bit of wood instead of seeds. I tried to cultivate the Doriad like those trees, and somehow, it managed to create new roots and grew in size.
The Snow Witch stared at the newly planted Doriad. She woke up and yawned like a small child. She noticed the face of the Snow Witch staring at her and showed a carefree smile.
She called the name of the Snow Witch. On that moment, she became speechless because she was too moved. She held my hand with her little fingers.
「…Tha…Thank you. 」
When I looked down, the Snow Witch raised her face to look up at me. Finally, I could see her face because her hair hid her eyes for most of the time. She had a very happy expression on her face. She smiled at me with tears overflowing from her eyes…
The Snow Witch had a unique white hair and beautiful eyes. She hid her face with her hat because she was embarrassed. By the way, Dora, who was sitting on my shoulder, had red cheeks on her face. She looked at us with a grumpy expression.
3/3 – All done. Thank you for keeping up with us.