“Walking around in the woods?” I tilted my head, “So… a druid?” I wasn’t sure if there were druids in this world until the word translated properly.
“That’s right,” Father Thomas nodded, “Now, they don’t all live in the woods all the time… but the more powerful they are, the less likely it is to find them in the city. To regenerate a leg, you need a powerful druid.” He shook his head, “There’s another problem though. They aren’t likely to care about money much. They probably won’t just come with you to heal your friend. You might be able to work out a deal of some kind where you bring your friend to them. That still requires finding them first. Even if you get the right forest, you could wander around for weeks without finding them.”
“What about counting Kantrilla?” With her Luck, I wouldn’t be surprised if one entered the church in the next few minutes.
Father Thomas grinned, “That’s already counting Luck. Without that, you need someone who knows where the druid lives to have any chance of finding them- and even then they have to let you find them.” He nodded solemnly, “Powerful druids, that is. You might have hope of finding some who knows some others who know others… who can regenerate your friend. And no, I don’t know of any. At least, not in Othya.”
Kantrilla leaned closer, “What about outside of Othya then?”
Father Thomas scratched his chin, “If you leave the country… things get a bit more dangerous. I do know of a druid in Escait but… he’s not really the right kind.”
I tried to remember what I had learned about the nearby countries. “Escait is… deserty, right?”
“For the most part,” Father Thomas nodded, “Vasant isn’t the type of druid who will be much help in regenerating limb, unless he’s branched out lately.” Father Thomas chuckled, “Not that he’s the type of druid who does much with trees.”
“Do you know any other druids, then?” Kantrilla asked.
“Not personally. There aren’t too many dwarven druids, so going south to Astrurg won’t likely help much. Fepresil definitely has druids in their forests… somewhere. However, even elven cities are too much for them. Even if they like a bit more of the forest around that doesn’t mean their cities aren’t still real cities.” Father Thomas shrugged, “Enough of them speak common to get by, but it would be better if you knew someone who spoke elven.”
“Ah…” I hadn’t even thought about that part. If I remembered correctly, I didn’t automatically speak every language in this world. Just common. “Alhorn is half-elven but… I don’t know if he speaks elven.” If I remembered correctly, he was born and raised in Othya, which made me think he probably didn’t. Not that I knew exactly where his village was anyway.
“Oh…” Kantrilla looked down again, her enthusiasm at knowing there was a solution dimmed by the discussion afterwards. “Well,” she put on a slightly forced smile, “We’d better get going then. Toward Fepresil?” Kantrilla looked toward me for confirmation.
I shrugged, “Sure. Could take a while.”
“I forbid it.” Father Thomas took on a stern tone. I hadn’t heard him that serious, even when he was planning to heal me for free- which included putting himself out of commission for over a week.
Kantrilla looked at him, surprised, “B-but it’s to help our friend! You even told us where we could look…”
“It doesn’t matter,” he shook his head, “It’s too dangerous.”
“We’re C rank adventurers now!” Kantrilla raised her voice, though she definitely wasn’t shouting. “Normal people live there. We can take care of ourselves!”
“Hmm.” Father Thomas nodded, “True, normal people live there… and have lived there their whole lives. They know the area, the language, people… and you know none of those things.”
“We could find someone who does…”
“Can you be sure you can trust them? What if you get separated?” Father Thomas shook his head, “You need to be at least E- no, F rank.”
“Mmm… okay.” Kantrilla nodded. She was an adult woman, so he couldn’t actually tell her what to do anymore. However, he was also more experienced… and I couldn’t disagree with his words. F rank was at level 25, when people underwent class advancement. Though Kantrilla and I were officially C-rank, we were past fifteenth level which mean we could qualify for D rank. While fighting minotaurs had been rather dangerous, I had to admit they provided lots of experience. More than just the kind that gave levels.
“How long will that take? Another year?” I sighed. “At that point, Kasner might not even want his leg back. Well…” I couldn’t imagine him not wanting his leg, but wanting his leg back and wanting to come back to adventuring were different things. “Maybe he really was serious about quitting adventuring. He’s still our friend, so we can talk with him about it… once we can actually do something about it.”
Father Thomas smiled, “That’s right. To take such matters into your own hands, you need to be strong enough. Not just Strength, of course.” He looked at me, “Speaking of which, how are you doing there? You look like you’ve managed to avoid any problems with your disease coming back.”
I flexed… not that it was of much use with my armor still on, so I patted my arm. “I’ve got over five hundred Strength now. Actually… over seven hundred.” I didn’t really need to hide my Strength from him. First of all, he was Kantrilla’s father- an adoptive father, but still her family and trustworthy. Secondly, he knew Sgar. That meant it wasn’t exactly going to be secret anyway. Sgar already knew I was an otherworlder… but I didn’t know if he’d told Father Thomas, and I hadn’t told Kantrilla until after we had left. “Ah… did Sgar mention I’m an otherworlder? Or Kantrilla’s letters?”
Father Thomas continued to smile gently, “Kantrilla skillfully avoided it, though it was easy to see something different about you… even if you hadn’t arrived in town with different clothes.”
I was somewhat amazed at how easily people took in the information that I was an otherworlder, but then again such things happened here- even if not terribly commonly. More importantly, I had only told reasonable people who already liked me.
Father Thomas folded his hands, “Well then… how about you two stay in town for a week or two? I’d like to see how Kantrilla’s skills have advanced with practical experience… and to spend time with my daughter.”
I couldn’t argue with that, and it wasn’t like I couldn’t do anything while we were here. While hunting horned rabbits or wolves would have been a bit too easy, there were other things deeper in the forest… and I could ask Sgar if he had any tips for training very high Strength.