Chapter 6.11: Recovery
With a gasp, air filled my lungs and I shot upright.
That… That was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.
Forget the forced guilt and remorse from when I’d been attempting to overcome [Cold Hearted]. Forget degloving my hand and then rupturing every muscle in my body while fighting Five. That experience had been like being flayed alive while replacing those muscles with red-hot irons.
I knew from being in her head, but this was even worse… What did I put Sitri through…?
What I had just experienced was almost enough to make me feel bad for her. Almost. Slowly, I stretched out my limbs. Strangely enough, they didn’t feel sore at all. Despite what I’d just been through.
That makes sense I guess, if we assume that the pain came from my soul instead of my body… Then, the question is how long I was out?
Somebody would probably have been posted by my side to help when I came to, so I looked up and around the room. My eyes beheld the faces of Sasha, Frieda, Edith, Sarala, and Stil. All of the people who had been in my room when I started the process.
Edith was the first to speak and her voice gave sound to the expressions everyone was making, “S-Stahlia?”
They were all looking at me with faces that conveyed nothing but horror. Considering what my experience had been like, I could only imagine what they must have seen. It was a really good thing that Rosial, Felicity, and Rosin had been absent, then.
And there wasn’t a coma. From a certain point of view, in exchange for the worst pain imaginable I get to not lose years of my life… But was it worth it?
I could ask what their experience had been in a minute. For now, I wanted to know if my newest trauma had been worth it. I called up my status.
Life Summary Screen:
Life Point Balance: 115
Name/Age: Stahlia von Drakas und zu Ris, 16
Class/Level: ̧͘͟҉̕C͡͏͢u̸ś̨͡ţ̷͢͞͠ò̡͠m҉̛͝ ̡̡́́̀C̨̛͘ļ̴̴̢a̴͢s͏̧͝͝͝s͏͢͏́͝,̧́͡͠ ̨2̛͟͡0̶̀҉͘͘ ̴͘͟|̡͝ ̡͘͘͢͝C̴̢͟ư͞ş̧̕͢͝t̸̛̀o̴̧͡m̷̢ ̧͠C̶͘͡҉l̛҉͘͝ás̶̀͟͝s̛̀͢͠,̷ ̵̨4 Experience: 0/38000
Species: Human (Halfblood[Revenant])
Social Strata: Nobility (Baron Ris, Drakas Kingdom || Princess auf Drakas, Drakas Kingdom)
Starting Gift: Implanted Seed: Progress 11.32%
Title: Goblin Slayer*[Swap Title]
Strength E: 129 Endurance C: 229 Dexterity S: 430 +48 Intelligence S: 495 Charisma C: 229 Mana A: 291
Fighting Style: Drakan Style* [Swap Style]
Talents 5/5: [Browse Talents] P̶r̛ơdi̷gy ͞I҉II*, [ ], Śtea͞lt̵h̶ ͡V,̨ Ch̷ár͝m͟ Resi̛stan̛ce̵ I͢I*̧, Fléx̨i͟b͝le͡ ͢I͡I*̡,̕ ||͡ Mòn͠stȩr ̴Ha͝ndlįng ͘I҉II*͞, ͏D̶a͏g͝g͜er ҉F̧ìg̀ht̨i͘ng ̀V̕*,̨ ̕S̸wòrd ̛F͢ighţíng I͡I̴*҉,̧ U͝na͟r͡me̢d Fight̵íng͝ IV*̡, Aļc͏h̡emy̨ Corre̴çti̴o̴n͏ ̡I҉V̨*, Ţea͢chi̴ng͟ II*,͢ ̸M̡a͟na͜ ͘E͏f̀f̧i̕c͡íen̕cy͜ III̷*, ̶F͠ir̵e ̛Màg̢ic͏ ͝II̴I*́,̡ ̧W͜a̵ter͘ ҉M͟ag̨i̡c II*̢,͝ ̷Ear̵t̸h M͝agic I͟I̡*͢,͏ Wi͘ńd M͟agic ̡I̸I*̛, ҉I̷ce̕ ̢Mag͜ic VI̛*̡, Wi̷n̸téŗ Magi͘c ̷I,͡
Skills 5/5: [Browse Skills] Divine Authority[Class Features], F̀in͞es͜s͢e Figh͟tįng͝*, ̧B̷lu͞e ́B͏l̕oo͡de̛d*,͢ ́K̷inet̕ic ̷P̛e͝ŕce͟p̶t̡io̷n*̡,̶ ̕Ma̵n͠a ̴C͟ŗy̡s͡t͠a͞ll͡iz͏atio̶n*, |̷|́ L̢a̛ng̀u̸ag͡e P̡r͞ofi̶cien̸c̛y͘[̶Ce͢n̴tr̸al Huma͝n͢]*̷,̕ ̶F̷ig̕ht͞ing S͟ty̷le̢[S̵h͡ad̛o̴w҉ Bla͏d͏e]*͢, ͢Fi̴g̕h͢t͞i͘ng S͡t̶yle͢[̀Drak̷a͢n͝ ͞S͝t̕y͢l̶e]*, Rule Breaker*, Revenant Physique*,
Talents Experience: [+]
Auto Repair In Progress: Halted[+]
Bile rose up in my throat, causing me to fiercely swallow several times. After what had just happened, the indignity of vomiting might not seem like a lot but I’d rather not.
At first glance, it doesn’t look like anything happened, but no. There’s some stuff.
[Eidetic Memory] was gone, in its place was a blank space. It didn’t look like the slot had been refunded which sucked, but I could live with it. More importantly, my Divine Authority no longer seemed to be corrupted, and a new line had appeared; “Auto Repair In Progress.” Very likely that was what Adroni had meant when they said that my status would fix itself in time.
But it wasn’t there before, so did that cunt not know it wasn’t working? Or did they know and not tell me? No, it’s worse than not telling me. If they did know, then I was deliberately misled.
Whatever the case, the process claimed to have been halted. Similar to my Talents Experience, there was an option to expand and see more details but that could wait until after I’d addressed the currently horrified onlookers. As a final note, my Implanted Seedling thing had suddenly gotten a lot of experience. Something else to consider later on.
“S-sorry, dith I worry-” My voice was severely hoarse, and just a few words in, I was overtaken by a coughing fit, “Ackahem!…Kuhoogh!…Kehkah!”
When I pulled my hands down from my mouth, they were coated in a concerningly thick layer of blood. That was when I noticed the metallic taste. Sasha and Frieda responded first, flying into a flurry of action. First, I was guided onto my side, then had my head rotated around so that it was resting on my hand. Next, one of them, I couldn’t tell which, began thumping on my back. I let them work, cognizant of the fact that there was blood either in my lungs or throat. Probably the former by the feeling of it.
Another coughing fit assaulted me and I felt my legs curling up, “Relax, try and breathe as best you can; Edith has gone with Sarala to get the doctor back here.”
Why didn’t we have him on hand!?
The answer to that question was easy; I’d decided not to. I had expected that this would hurt, but also expected to simply fall into a coma. There had seen no reason to have the doctor present; there hadn’t been one the first few times and it had been fine.
Actually, why was I allowed to get away with that?
There was a lot that I was able to get away with. More than should have been possible, even given my station. It almost seemed like Rupert was either tip-toeing around me, or giving me far too much credit. My thoughts were abruptly interrupted by another fit of coughing, and this one lasted long enough that it felt like I might actually pass out. In the end, I was able to breathe and so escaped the mercy of unconsciousness.
The door was thrown open sometime later and I heard a voice that was vaguely familiar, “Let me see her.”
In the interim time had been hard to judge, so there was no telling how long my body had been spent attempting to eject my lungs through my throat. The hand that had been patting my back stopped and was replaced by a sharp prodding sensation. Then, something cold and acrid smelling was pushed into my mouth. By the taste, some sort of medicinal compound.
Ah, the doctor then.
Said Doctor continued to poke and prod at me for a short while as my coughing fit slowly subsided. Once he was satisfied, he stepped back, “Miss Sasha, I’ve given her a syrup to soothe the throat and lungs. Since the bleeding seems to have abated please help her sit up.”
My maid did as instructed and then helped me turn so that I could face the room. As I’d thought, it was indeed the royal family’s doctor who’d been poking me so painfully. Edith and Sarala were both still here as well, which made sense since they’d been the ones to get the doctor. Frieda and Elienor were gone, I hadn’t seen when they slipped out but given-
Oh god! Elienor saw all that! After everything she’s been through, I accepted her as part of my family, and then she saw me like that! What the HELL was I thinking!?
My horror showed itself to the onlookers in the form of a contorted grimace. Sasha stepped forward and began dabbing at the corners of my mouth with a cloth, there must still have been some blood in my mouth as it came away red. There wasn’t any time for that though, “Werg, Whwew…”
Frowning, I shook my head and cleared my throat while doing my best to ignore the pained protestations that action elicited. Even with whatever the doctor had given me, it still hurt.
How loudly was I screaming? And for how long?
“Mh-hmm. Where is, Elienor?”
Sasha shook her head in exasperation while Edith and Sarala shared a knowing glance, “My Lady, I had Miss Frieda escort her out.”
Yea, that makes sense. Probably the smart move, since I imagine it looked like I was dying.
“Please haf,” I frowned and winced as my voice caught again.
“I will have her informed that you are well and recovering, then bring her to see you in the morning. For now, the doctor has requested that you rest.”
I stared at Sasha blankly. Sure, I hadn’t actually ordered her to bring Elienor back; my voice had caught again. The way she neatly finished my sentence made her thoughts on the matter rather clear. ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea.’ That said, she had a point; I definitely did need to rest. As much as I wanted to see Elienor, that was it. I wanted to see her. She could be told that the worst had passed and I was now resting. Then she could stick her head in if she wanted to.
Fine. I’ll yield this time.
Sasha nodded amicably, “Of course.”
Catching my look, Edith leaned over and whispered something to Sarala, who then stood and departed with a curtsy. That would ensure that Elienor did not have to wait too long to hear that I was alright.
The doctor then cleared his throat, seeing as we’d fallen silent, “Ahem. If I might be so bold, Lady Drakas, I have no idea what specifically occurred though I suspect it might be related to what happened to you in the early part of this year? In any case, whatever it is, I suggest you avoid doing so again until you have fully recovered. And even then, consider not doing so.”
Having said his piece, he shook his head ruefully, “Though I doubt you will listen; at least have me informed ahead of time, please.”
I barely even know him, and he’s already formed such a low opinion of me? I mean, he’s right, but come on!
Even if he hadn’t requested it, I was definitely going to have him standing by just in case. Not wanting to talk, I only nodded before gingerly lowering myself back onto the bedding.
“In any case, I will prepare more of the syrup; Your lady’s throat will be rather sore for a while based on how loudly she was screaming. If you need anything further, you know where to find me.” Even though he had been speaking to Sasha, his voice carried such that I was able to hear it.
That’s how he got here so quickly? Exactly how loud was I…?
The knowledge that I’d been heard from outside my own suite was mortifying and caused my eyes to go wide. Once the doctor had departed, Edith finally broke her silence, “I never want to see that again.”
Yea? You think I want to experience it again?
“Do you have any idea what it is like to watch someone close their eyes peacefully, then suddenly start convulsing while screaming loud enough that the doctor was halfway here already when we finally found him!?”
Her voice was beginning to take on the edge that meant she was well and truly pissed, and though that was understandable, all I could get from what she’d said was that the doctor had been here for quite a while already.
Really, that makes sense. He did get here pretty quickly after I started coughing.
“Oh no you don’t! This is not something you should be smiling about!” She was starting to shout now, “Do you know how long the only thing you were doing was screaming!? Hours. Multiple. Hours.”
Her proclamation wiped the smile right off my face.
“I’m glad that got through to you. The best part of all of this though? I know. We all know you’re planning to do it again. This was only a test run; that’s what you told us. Even if the specifics don’t make a lick of sense, we know enough to know that this was supposed to be the easy version.”
Even if I could talk, there wasn’t anything I could say to that.
“…I might be your friend, but I’m not going to be here next time. I can’t watch that again.” Edith screwed her eyes shut and shook her head, “…And if you care about us at all, you’ll reconsider.”
She didn’t wait for me to respond before turning and leaving my room. Sasha didn’t even click her tongue or shake her head at the apparent disrespect, which said more than anything else that Edith’s sentiment was shared. But as much as I agreed, as much as I didn’t want to ever experience that again, it wasn’t something I could just not do.
…I need my status back in working order…
If it was just that they didn’t work, then I could have dealt with my skills and talents being broken. After all, leveling up still worked, I could still get stronger. It was the fact that attempting to use them was actively detrimental that sealed my fate on the matter.
My Blood Magic can compensate for a lack of skills, but I need Mana, and the only way I know to get more mana is by leveling up. Or disconnecting, but that’d kill me again, and there’s no way I could control that much mana without getting rid of my emotions.
That being said, depending on what was causing this new auto repair thing to be halted, I might not actually have to do all that again, “Sasha, I’m going, to try, to, sleep.”
“I will be here if you need anything.”
I closed my eyes, and pulled up my status again, then focused on the auto repair line.
:Auto Repair Stalled:
Error.AttributesError.List(Skills[Finesse Fighting, Mana Crystallization] & Talents[Prodigy III, Flexible II])
Remove Incompatible Attributes? Y/N
I paused. If this worked the way it sounded like, then simply removing these listed skills would let the rest of my status repair itself.
But why these ones?
Flexible and Finesse Fighting were whatever; it didn’t really hurt me to remove it. Other than the fact that removing it would really hurt. But the other two, Prodigy and Mana Crystallization, those ones were more directly beneficial.
I mean, losing the effect of Eidetic Memory sucks and I got rid of that; I’m just making excuses to not do it. But what I want to know is, why these ones? What’s different about them?
There was, of course, no way for me to learn what the difference was. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t guess. Based on Aaron’s theory, which I agreed with, my problem was being caused by my body having attempted to incorporate my Skills and Talents into my biology. The error message was telling me that these attributes were incompatible now because of that.
Mana Crystallization and Flexible make sense. Both of those changed how my body worked, so if my regular body now includes those effects I can see how there might be an issue. But Prodigy… unless, unless it’s the attribute improvement?
The reason I had first taken Prodigy back before knowing this wasn’t a game, the reason had been to acquire the broken bonuses to my attribute scores.
Is that what it is? No. The attributes are layered on top of my base abilities, they don’t quantify them; I’ve known that for a while.
Whatever the case, I was going to say yes. Just not now; the doctor had a point about me needing to rest. To say nothing of the fact that Edith would be absolutely livid if I turned around and did it again right after she told me what she did.
Then, the Implanted Seedling thing. Where in the hell did that 10% come from…?
I thought about the issue for some time and eventually arrived at the conclusion that it was from [Eidetic Memory]. Though thinking about it was painful, there had been a stream of information the instant I opted to remove the skill, and the pain whited out everything else. Part of that had seemed to imply that the talent hadn’t been removed and instead repurposed. Retargeted? The point was it had not been removed.
It stood to reason then, that the talent might have been dissolved back into energy or raw data, and that then fed into the seedling as though it were experience. Once I removed the remaining three roadblocks. From there, my status would hopefully be able to auto repair.
It’s the twelfth month now, so we have around five weeks left until the snow begins to melt. Now that I know I probably won’t go into a coma, I can remove my remaining skills at any point between now and then… though, I really don’t want to… If I ever see Sitri then, I think I might actually apologize for doing that to her…
With a very loose plan in mind, I decided it was high time to actually do what Sasha thought I was doing. Readjusting my position slightly, I fell into a fitful sleep.