48 Unexpected Answers (2)

"I know you will call me an old fool, but I think I have the solution to your problem."

"If you are referring to your little protégé, then you are more than a fool, you are certifiable. I tried, Ainz tried, I could write a book with the names of all those who tried.

"I can only hope that Krishna Manohar, the god of healing, will return soon. Only he can save me from this anguish. The only reason he is not here yet, is because that goddamn lunatic is nowhere to be found.

"He is doing his experiments in some remote village, forsaken by both humans and gods. He even left his communicator behind, so that he couldn't be disturbed. My mother always said that bachelors are unreliable, and damn if she wasn't right.

"If that b*astard had a wife or a husband, hell, even a cat, someone would know where to find him!"

"I completely agree with you. Only a married man truly understands the burden of responsibility." Count Lark sucked up to her.

"But allow me to say that you are underestimating my protégé." Lark ignored the ferocious snarl from the Marchioness and pushed forward.

"As I told you more than once in the past, he is blessed by the light. I'll share with you a family secret. He actually helped my daughter with a similar problem."

"Your daughter was cursed?" The Marchioness rose an eyebrow in disbelief.

"Sadly, yes. It plagued her life for years." Count Lark knew that the best lie was the one shrouded by a half-truth. Keyla had always called her acne a curse, after all.

"What do you have to lose? If I'm wrong, we'll leave and you will never hear from me again. Outside official business, of course."

"Is that a promise?" It was too good to be true.

"I swear on my ancestors. If he fails, the only things we will ever talk about are County matters."

After shaking his hand to seal the deal, Marchioness Distar had him contact Nana, which in turn called Lith.

When he arrived at Nana's house, Ainz was already there, waiting for him.

He was a man in his mid-twenties, wearing a full black robe that covered his entire figure except for his head and hands. He had long fingers, pitch-black hair and eyes, with some odd black shades that seemed to devour sunlight on contact.

Ainz had sharp, and intelligent features, with a blood-red gemstone embroidered on his chest.

'Aside from the flashy gem, that's the kind of man I would gladly marry one of my sisters to. Too bad he is too old, noble, and tacky.' Lith thought.

Ainz gave him an odd look, but his eyes didn't betray any emotion.

"My liege requires your help, young magico. Do you know how to fly?"

Lith nodded, swallowing a snarky remark.

"Then go in that direction as fast as you can." Ainz pointed at north, northeast.

"I'll follow you closely."

Lith pretended to cast a personal spell, wriggling his fingers randomly and counting backward from ten to seven, in English. By mimicking the Ry, he coupled his best flying spell with the slipstream effect, reaching a speed close to 500 kph (311mph).

It took Ainz only a bit of effort to catch up with him.

'Not bad! Purple mana core guys are really impressive.' Both Solus and Lith wanted to see what someone with such talent was capable of with their own eyes.

'Impressive! So young and he already has devised some personal spells. Maybe the old lunatic isn't so crazy, after all.' Ainz thought.

When they reached the Marchioness' house, Ainz moved through all the barriers and guards so fast that Lith couldn't manage to take a proper look around. He had to spend all his energies just to keep up with his pace.

Before he realized it, he was in a fancy parlor. Both nobles stood up at their arrival.

"That was fast, Ainz." The Marchioness seemed pleasantly surprised.

"The young one seems to have more than one ace up his sleeve."

'Is this commenting about my skills supposed to be subtle or something? Seriously? How stupid do you take me for?' Lith was seriously pissed off, but the looks from the Count and his guilty conscience kept his mouth shut.

The Marchioness gave Lith an abridged version of the story, dragging him to her daughter's bedroom without giving him the time to think or even express his opinion.

'I get it already! You don't have any faith in me. Quit dragging me around like a damn parcel!' Lith thought.

He was seriously considering failing on purpose, just to get even with her, but from Lark's troubled face, his instincts could tell that there was more at stake than just the life of a girl.

From Larks' countenance, Lith could deduce that the Count had exerted a lot of pressure just to get him to that spot. Lark had faith in him, and judging from the Marchioness expression, she was clearly expecting, if not straight out wishing, for Lith to fail.

It wasn't the time to stand on the side-lines anymore. Lith believed that if the Count assumed he could do it, there shouldn't be any risk playing his "blessed by the light" card.

After catching his breath, he performed more finger wriggling while counting up from one to three in English, while activating Invigoration on the poor girl.

It was a beautiful young woman in her early twenties, with only cotton gauze to cover her chest area. They compressed a huge wound, ten centimeters (4 inches) wide that cut her diagonally from the left shoulder to the right hip.

After a few seconds, he could only say.


The Marchioness scoffed, everyone before him had said the same word.


"And it's not a curse. Just some kind of magically laced poison."

"What?" The Marchioness lost control, stamping her feet on the floor.

"You heard me." Lith was tired of being looked down upon, treated like some illiterate barbarian. "It's a slow-release poison that disrupts the effects of light magic, turning any attempt to cure it into a new wound. Simply brilliant.

"It's almost impossible to cure such a condition."

"Almost?" The Marchioness knitted her eyebrows. "Are you saying you can cure her?"

"Yes." He nodded. "It will take about a week to make the proper adjustments to one of my spells. It's the same thing I did for Count Lark a few years ago, just more complicated." They hadn't arranged this speech beforehand, it was the simple truth.

It was just like Keyla's acne, only instead of removing natural impurities, he had to remove the artificial ones in order to make the healing possible.

"Kid, my daughter's life is no joke. I tried, Ainz tried." She pointed to the black obsessed mage. "Are you sure?"

'She tried?' Lith thought. 'Solus, didn't you tell that me she only had a red mana core?'

'Indeed, and it's still red.'

'Try scanning her clothes, accessories, anything that doesn't have any mana.'

'Her barrette!' Solus exclaimed. 'It has no magic flow, but that's impossible! This means that even items capable of hiding one's talents exist.'

'Forgemaster is definitely a specialization we have to take.' Lith thought.

"Pretty sure. I will be back in a week and…" Lith tried to move, but the Marchioness stood in his way.

"If what you say is true, you'll stay here and cure her as soon as you are finished, not a second later!"

Lith was enraged even more. He was being taken hostage by a grief-struck madwoman abusing her power, but remained silent. Both Count Lark's and his family were in danger.

When Marchioness Distar noticed Lark's shocked gaze, she had already gone too far.

"It is never wise to mistreat a healer, my liege." Ainz used one of his personal spells, sending his words directly into her ear as a whisper that only the Marchioness could perceive.

"Healers tend to life, but how you relate to them changes their attitude and care toward their patients. If Manohar is unavailable in the future and if this Lith can actually do what he says, do you really want to make an enemy out of him?"

"Please, save my daughter." The Marchioness said with a deep bow. "If you manage to heal her, I will send you to whatever academy you choose. I swear to the gods."

'This is much better.' Lith thought.

The following week was pretty stressful for him. Being paranoid, he was sure the Marchioness or one of her servants would spy on him 24/7. Lith had to sleep every night and spend the following days pretending to experiment with hand signs and accents.

He could actually cure the girl right off the bat, but that would have been too fast. Lith had followed Count Lark's advice, preparing himself to reveal at least part of his talent.

When Manohar was his age, he had solved a similar case in less than three days. Lith didn't want to appear as good as him, so he took as reference another contemporary great healer whose records were stored in Soluspedia.

'I can't be too much of a genius, but being average is out of the question. To achieve what I want I must be treasured, but not envied or used as a benchmark. Scoring 90/100 is more than enough for my needs.'

A week later, he entered into the young lady's bedroom again, under the eyes of her family and Ainz.

Lith first put his hand on her sternum, taking control of her mana flow and forcing the poison to move into a single spot before extracting it.

Then, he made it float in a bubble, before dripping it into a vial he had prepared beforehand.

After that, Lith executed his best healing spell, closing the wound in one go, without leaving a mark or a scar.

The girl immediately regained a healthy pink color, her breathing turned from quick and shallow to strong and steady.

Marchioness Distar couldn't believe her eyes. She quickly unwrapped the gauze, barely giving Lith and the male side of the family the time to turn around.

Doing it left him full of regrets.

'Be strong, old man. We are still physically young, there are still plenty of wonderful breasts waiting for us in this new world. Think of it as an investment. It's better to start our relationship with our new backer on a clean slate.'

While the Marchioness was hugging her daughter and sobbing, Ainz took the poison to analyze it, while Lith exited the room, waiting for permission to go back home.

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