In the remote town of Falgen, within the Kingdom of Baviel, resides a young girl named Rin who wakes up early.
Most people who work in churches around the world are orphans who were either abandoned or left in the church’s orphanage.
Every 100 years, demons appear, and although heroes manage to defeat them, the horde of monsters brought from the Demon Realm remains and attacks people.
By the time the number of monsters visibly decreases, another 100 years pass, and the cycle repeats.
In this never-ending world of conflict, there are many children who become orphans due to the death of their parents.
The church takes in these children, raises them, teaches them various skills, and produces individuals who support humanity.
Rin is one of these individuals.
Moreover, she is somewhat special.
She possesses one of the divine protections, called 『Healing Divine Protection』.
As the name suggests, Healing Divine Protection grants exceptional talent in Healing Magic.
Those who possess this divine protection are especially talented in treating patients and injured people with Healing Magic.
Normally, she would be treated specially.
However, for better or worse, the people in this church do not treat Rin as special.
Just like everyone else, she is made to do chores like cleaning, laundry, and shopping, and is worked from morning till night.
Thanks to her divine protection, she is able to use Healing Magic superior to anyone else and receives a salary to match, but this makes her constantly in demand.
Especially, this town has a nearby spot called 『labyrinth』 where monsters frequently appear.
Adventurers, who are jacks-of-all-trades and specialists in monster extermination, gather to challenge the labyrinth, either to die or to come back heavily injured.
In addition to treating such adventurers, Rin also has regular treatments for townfolk, making her busy year-round.
She has fewer vacations than anyone else.
Well, given the small scale of the church in this town compared to the demand, maybe it can’t be helped.
However, she is currently only 12 years old.
She wishes she could be pampered a little more for her age.
“Rin~. Hurry and go shopping. It’s your turn today, right?”
Sadly, she has become accustomed to being a workaholic.
Unable to demand improvements in her working conditions, she heads to work again today.
That said, Rin is quite a valuable asset to the church.
Certainly, she has fewer chores than others, and when she goes outside the church, she is accompanied by capable combat members serving as bodyguards and porters.
Well, the trade-off is that her healing duties are incredibly busy.
“Oh, Rin, it’s been a while! You really helped me out last time! Here, let me give you a service!”
“Rin~! Buy from us too!”
In the town, Rin is a popular figure.
Well, of course, a hardworking little girl would be cute.
Especially when she’s someone who’s helping them out.
Moreover, Rin is a remarkably beautiful young girl.
Even if you’re not into the ‘lolicon’ thing, she still warms your heart, and if you are, she’s bound to capture it.
It even seems like the gazes of her bodyguards are particularly gentle.
Among them, there’s about one 15-year-old girl who is saying things like, “Haa, haa. . . . . .Rin is so precious, Rin. . . . . .” with her pupils wide open, but she’s being silently elbowed by the other bodyguards, so it’s not a problem.
At that moment, Rin felt a stir in the atmosphere of the town.
Turning her eyes to the source of the commotion, she sees an adventurer who has recently gained some notoriety in this town, in a bad way.
It’s a child, roughly Rin’s age, emanating a peculiar aura.
His black hair looks like it’s been carelessly cut, and his black cloak is more tattered than that of a vagrant.
Underneath the cloak, both his clothes and skin are ragged, covered in terrible scars.
To top it off, he has some eerie sword hanging from his waist and is dragging something in a bag.
Moreover, he is. . . . . .missing an arm.
Amazingly, this is his standard appearance.
Rin, unfortunately, knows him well.
He usually comes to the church for treatment in this condition, missing a limb or another, and because of his peculiar aura, the townspeople’s gazes toward him are never friendly.
“Oh, Rin. What a coincidence to see you here.”
But he greets Rin without a care for those stares.
The people in the town murmur, and Rin feels like sighing.
“Allan-kun… I always say this, but can’t you take better care of yourself? It might change people’s perception of you.”
“I always tell you it’s a waste of time. I’m going to be a mess again soon anyway.”
“. . . . . .sigh.”
She actually sighed this time.
His response is always the same.
It’s like talking to a brick wall, or preaching to a horse’s ears.
Although she knows from talking to him that he’s somewhat odd but a rather normal boy, Rin can’t help but feel frustrated by his current state.
Well, maybe it’s none of her business.
“Anyway, since we’ve met, could you heal me a bit? I’ll pay you more than usual.”
“No, please go through the church for any requests.”
Rin gets a little annoyed at the young man’s muttered insult.
It’s not that she’s refusing to heal him out of professional integrity as a healing magician belonging to the church.
It’s because if she heals him, he’ll head right back to the labyrinth.
Yes, he usually lives in the labyrinth.
In that monstrous, perilous environment.
He only comes to town when he’s run out of food or has serious injuries he can’t heal himself and sells items or monster materials he’s gathered in the labyrinth while he’s at it.
Right now, that’s what’s in the bag he’s dragging.
And then, once he’s done with his errands, he immediately returns to the labyrinth, fights monsters until he either runs out of food or gets seriously injured, and doesn’t come back until then.
To put it mildly, he’s not sane.
Although she sort of understands his motivations after hearing a light explanation when she asked why he does this, the evaluation that he’s crazy has never been overturned.
Therefore, Rin’s refusal to heal him here is actually out of kindness.
She wishes that he would at least rest while waiting for his turn to be treated.
Being called stingy even though she’s known as a Saint in the streets does make her feel irritated.
“It can’t be helped. As usual, I’ll make a medical appointment and then head to the guild.”
Saying so, Allan walked toward the church, garnering curious stares from people as he passed.
“Ugh. . . . . .”
Once again, Rin couldn’t help but sigh.
To protect someone important, becoming stronger is necessary.
That’s what he’s striving for.
The purpose that Allan had conveyed was certainly noble.
However, the extent he was going to was just too extreme.
Sacrificing his life, abandoning his humanity, and dedicating every single second to battle.
That’s exactly why he ends up with dangerous nicknames like “Sword Imp” or “Sword Demon.”
“Do you have to go that far to protect someone. . . . . .Did you fall in love with a princess or something?”
While entertaining a not-too-far-off speculation that it could be something like aiming for the unattainable, Rin continued her shopping, momentarily putting thoughts of Allan out of her mind.
In the end, she thought, “Well, at least I’ll make sure he doesn’t end up with terrible scars,” as she continued with a touch of kindness.