The next morning we checked out of the inn carrying our goods to the meeting point. Alongside us there would be three other adventurer teams of higher rank. The first team was Divine Love which consisted of just a married couple. They were so in love with one another that one or the other had been known to assault anyone that gets between them. The second team consisted of three brothers known as the Storm Brigade. Previously all three men served together in the military, and once they got out they started adventuring together. Lastly was a relatively unknown group called Noble Cause. This team was made of three men, and four women. Looking at them Ursela swore that they had to be nobles, but when we asked they said they were former nobles. Their house had been torn apart years ago leaving the seven of them to wander together.
“So all of you are siblings?”, I asked.
“The youngest woman, Noel, is our sibling.”, the eldest brother said, “The rest of the women are our wives.”
“I understand.”, I said.
“How about you? You have a commanding presence yourself. Are you a noble?”, he asked.
“Sort of. I gave up the right since my family is quite cruel.”, I said.
“Oh, to give up your status of your own will is quite amazing!”, they said.
“Thank you.”, I said with a humble bow.
Together all the teams met with the ambassador before heading out. It would be two weeks before reaching the border. During that time we stopped in villages at night because Ambassador Jackson Rutu didn’t like sleeping on the ground. By the third night half of the teams wanted to kill him. None of us had been told, but he has a fondness for strong drink with women. He had already made passes on the women several times. I was the only he hadn’t pissed off completely because he had no interest in Ursela as she had the mark above her eyes.
“This bastard is pushing the limits of my patience…”, the man from Divine love said, “If he tries pressing himself on my wife I will kill him.”
“Same goes for our wives!”, the men from Noble Cause said, “That includes our sister as well!”
Storm Brigade was angry with him because he was taking the women in town they would normal spend the night with. They didn’t hit on married women as a rule, but all other women they found attractive were fair game. They looked at me enviously since my companion wasn’t subject to his advances.
“Unlike you lot I have no issue killing pigs.”, I said.
“Well said!!”, the men cheered.
Currently we were stopped in a town called Ultimata. The female adventurers were ready to kill Jackson if he even looked at them. They stuck to the men like glue trying to use us like anti-creep repellent. This worked till we reached the border with the neighboring country, Vraina. Vraina was known as lake nation due to forty percent of the land being covered in water. This made it an ideal place for aquatic demihumans. Knowledge of this was nice, but it didn’t help overcome this obstacle.
“FIVE DAYS FOR A FERRY RIDE!!!”, Jackson said slamming his hands on the counter.
“I am sorry, but due to monsters in the lake we have to wait for our teams to cull the numbers.”, the receptionist said backing away from the counter.
He went to grab her by the neck before I grabbed his wrist.
“Assaulting a citizen of this country will end in an international incident.”, I said with a cold glare, “I would keep your hands to yourself.”
He gulped, and backed away. Releasing my grip we purchased ferry tickets for five days from now. Leaving the counter we booked rooms in a nearby inn. Jackson refused to stay here, and instead got the local lord to let him stay at his mansion. With him gone all of us let out a sigh of relief.
“Dear lord thank you!!!”, the three other teams said.
They were happy to get rid of him for the short break. With that we temporarily disbanded for five days. Ursela opted to remain in the room to sleep. When she passed out I decided to wander around town. I wasn’t to worried about anyone here so I even walked around the bad part of town.
As I walked passed a brothel I heard a woman scream. Instinctively I ran over to investigate, and found a lone mermaid getting beaten by a couple of thugs.
“Help me!!”, she screamed.
“No one is helping scum like you!”, one of the thugs said.
They raised their clubs to strike her, but instead they were sent flying by a fireball. In shock both parties looked back at me. In anger the thugs charged me, but I gave them no mercy. Grabbing the first two with my bare hands I crushed their skulls. The next two were forced to swallow fireballs making their bodies explode. The remaining thug dropped his weapon, and attempted to flee.
“You didn’t think simply dropping your weapon would be enough to satisfy me, did you?”, I said appearing in front of him.
Grabbing him by the neck he pulled out a hidden dagger, and proceed to stab me. The blade broke hitting my skin making him panic.
“Now then if you are done I am finished with you, Everwinter!”, I said casting the spell.
He and the surrounding area froze over instantly. With a light tap he shattered into a million pieces across the ground. After confirming there weren’t anymore in hiding I approached the mermaid. She looked panic for some reason so I attempted to calm her down.
“Miss, I am an adventurer not a thug, or bandit. Please be at ease.”, I said.
“You aren’t going to assault me…?”, she asked hiding her face.
“Why would I assault you?”, I asked.
“I am a wanted woman.”, she said tearing up, “I have been labeled a criminal after an accident out on the lake.”
“If it was an accident then it wasn’t your fault.”, I said.
Clenching her fists her eyes filled with tears. It was obvious that whatever had occurred she didn’t want to talk about. Changing the topic I asked if she had family nearby I could take her too.
“No…I was thrown out by my parents due to pressure from a local noble.”, she said showing a small bag she had, “This is all I have…I have nothing, and so I tried to sell myself as a prostitute to make a living. Instead of that I became the local punching bag. Those men offered me enough money to live off for a month if I ate only once a day.”
“You can’t live on that! Starvation will take you in less than that time.”, I said in a panic, “You also won’t have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, or any medical attention.”
“I don’t have a choice!!”, she said holding her bag tightly, “No one wants me anymore…my own family burned my scales, and fins to show that they were with the noble.”
Throwing off the ragged blanket she had been under I found her whole lower half covered in third degree burns. Her fins were torn to shreds by knives rendering them useless. Her body was covered in bruises, cuts, and in some places even had broken bones. She was in a bad way, and I couldn’t just leave her here to die like a dog. If no one else was going to take care of her I would do so. My mother would have wanted me to so I didn’t want to disappoint her.
Scooping her up in my arms she looked at me in a panic. She clutched her bag tightly thinking I was going to assault her. When I started to walk with her she looked at me like I was out of my mind.
“The people will hurt you because of me!”, she said, “Please don’t get yourself anymore involved than you already have.”
I stopped, and looked at her.
“Just a few moments ago I heard a woman yelling out for help. Do you not wish to regain your happiness, and enjoy live again?”, I asked.
Holding my shirt she nodded looking into my eyes.
“Yes, I want to have a normal life away from this suffering.”, she said.
“Then let me take the reins for now.”, I said, “You worry about healing your wounded heart, and let me take care of the rest.”
“But…!”, she said.
“There are others in this world who have suffered like you, and those who have failed to protect the ones they loved. I will not let you suffer anymore so please give me a chance to show you that.”, I said with a warm smile.
Looking into my eyes she decided to trust me. Leaning her head against my chest she started bawling her eyes out. Teleporting us back to the room I helped her remove her filthy clothes. Laying her in the bath I left her with some shampoo, and soap to wash off with. When she finished bathing I gently dried her off before beginning the process of healing her.
“Now please listen carefully. What I am about to do I want you to keep just between the three of us.”, I said.
Nodding I took her, and began chanting a spell my mother taught me.
“The gods of torment, and suffering I beseech the to spare this person your wrath. In their place allow the healing of the almighty come, and heal her wounds. May her body, and soul find peace from earthly suffering to experience the everlasting peace of your power, Divine Healing.”, I chanted.
Her body glowed brightly as her body healed itself completely. Her scales regained their brilliant blue shine as did her emerald-green hair. The broken bones mended themselves completely, and the wounds from her abusers faded away. Looking at her healed body she started shaking nervously. Gently touching her scales she ran her across not feeling any pain. Realizing she was healed she looked at me in disbelief.
“That spell! Only high-ranking members of religious groups know it!! To have someone cast it on you will easily take a fortune!”, she said, “I don’t have any money to pay you though…”
Pressing her forehead to mine I smiled softly.
“Your beautiful smile is all I wanted.”, I said.
Her face turned bright red as she hid under a new blanket I gave her. Stroking her silky smooth hair I placed her in bed with Ursela while I took the couch. Thanking me she hid herself in the sheets again before falling asleep. Smiling I passed out as well till first light when a commotion started in the dining area.
“Which one of you men touched my wife!!”, the man from Divine Love snapped, “Forcing yourself on her like an animal is unthinkable!!”
A burly man pushed his way through the crowd towering over my temporary comrade.
“Have something to say to me about it?”, the burly man smiled, “She left herself wide open for me.”
“You monster!! She is in critical condition after the beating you gave her!!”, he snarled back.
“Haha, was she so fragile that it took only four men to break her.”, the burly men mocked.
“…five…”, he said with a pale expression.
“Oh yes! We made sure she paid attention to all of us last night!!”, the burly man said, “If you weren’t so weak maybe we wouldn’t have jumped you last night.”
“…you…animals!”, he said drawing his blade.
The burly man smacked him away, and through three support beams.
“HAHA!!”, the burly man laughed, “Such weak…”
I appeared behind him blasting him right in the kidney’s. The burly man dropped to his knees in pain turning to me. Grabbing his right arm I twisted it into oblivion making useless to heal on his salary. Firmly smashing his crotch to the floor I glared at him in the eyes.
“That man happens to be a friend of mine!”, I said in a cold tone, “Did I hear right that you physically, and sexually assaulted her?”
When he refused to answer I started grinding my heel in. He screamed out in pain for someone to help him, but with the killing intent I was letting off no one moved.
“Answer me before I turn you inside out!”, I snapped, “If you think anyone is going to miss your sorry ass you are mistaken!”
“YES I DID IT!!!” the burly man yelled out like a little girl.
“How unfortunate for you…”, I said placing my hand over his mouth, “As that man’s friend I will gladly back him up. Now that I leveled the playing field for him I will make it worth his wild, MAXIMIZED PAIN!!”
Thinking something was going to happen he closed his eyes. When no pain came he gained a smug grin.
“Seems like your spell…”, he said before I flicked his nose.
The pain was overwhelming making him flail around like a wild animal. The spell was used by demons to get information out of captured soldiers. Human’s used it to so I knew I would be fine. Stepping away I let the angry husband beat the piss out of the brute while I watched the crowd. No one wanted to cross the line to help him so once the brute was on the brink of death I stopped him.
“Why are you stopping me!”, he snapped.
“I think your wife will want to finish the job. If you kill him she won’t get passed what happened.”, I said.
Seeing the value in keeping him alive he let up.
“Now then if you felt like breaking the other arm he won’t need it anymore.”, I said with a grin.
The husband stomped the arm until the bone became fine powder. With that he dragged the man off while I stealthily took out the brutes allies with poison I made with Wind Magic. The poor idiots never realized I poisoned them as they dropped to the floor dead a few minutes after I returned to my room.