Translator: Adam Seacord
Frowning to this quick answer, Douga continued:
「Can you negate that kind of poison?」
「Depends, but I could take care of most poisons out there. Unless it’s too late for that. I could use an All-purpose Potion, but I gotta go far for the ingredients, and our equipment’s a little shotty, and like I said, if it’s too late for it, negatin’ the poison won’t do a thing.」
「Hm. How about an illness?」
「Same goes. I’ll have to hear the symptoms and check it out for myself, but I could cure most. Now any kind of after effect for an disease or a poison is free game. I can’t say how that’ll turn out until I see ‘em.」
After pondering for a moment, Douga got up and prepared to leave.
「Where are you going?」
「I’m going to pop in at the Association.」
With that, he changed his appearance with the magical item, and swiftly walked out, leaving Aearis and Rayna behind.
「So, y’all know what he was talkin’ about?」
「…Elena hasn’t been feeling well for a long time, now…」
「The court doctor and magician couldn’t figure it out?」
「Yes. They said she has a mysterious illness, but…」
「We can’t be too sure ‘til I hear her symptoms and take a look at her.」
Hiroshi pointed, out and Aearis nodded, and began to list the symptoms as much as she could remember. Most were shared by many illness, but…
「Tremors in her hands and feet, and phantom pains, huh? Does Princess Elena dine with everyone else?」
「Since about a week before her symptoms started appearing, she was always alone, except for lunch. It was in part because everyone in the family had a varying schedule.」
「How ‘bout you, Elle?」
「I usually eat at the Temple, and eat the same things as the other priests there…」
「Gotcha. Do the tasters rotate?」
「Yes. We have their body and conditions to consider, and to ensure there are no mistakes, there are four tasters at a time, in a different combination of members, each time.」
「No one else has her symptoms?」
With this much information, Hiroshi was sure.
「There is a disease that cause similar symptoms. But, the only way to get infected is bein’ scratched by a Marjin Rat. And once it infects a human, it spreads like wildfire, so a bunch a people would have been showin’ symptoms. It’s only got a long incubation period for the first infected person. Besides, she would have healed on her own in two weeks without any treatment or nothin’. So, it’s poison. No shred of doubt.」
「Can you make an antidote for it?」
「Yeah, no problem. The thing is, I gotta use ingredients that spoil fast. Can’t make it right away.」
Even with their Rotproof enchantment, they didn’t have a large stock for all materials. Obscure materials required for potions, especially, weren’t easy to get a hold of, even in Wulls, the trade port of the west.
「How long’s it been since her first symptom popped up?」
「Let’s see… Almost a month, I believe. It had at least been two weeks when we were trapped by Piaranork.」
「Was it pretty dumb goofin’ ‘round here like this?」
「I wouldn’t say that…」
「Guess ya wouldn’t.」
In reality, even with his track record of crafting the large amount of antidotes, there was no way that they would come to a no-name adventurer about this. It should take two weeks or so for them to go through everyone with the appropriate credentials. Even without the Piaranork incident, it would have taken them just as long to get to and interview Hiroshi and Haruna as it took for Aearis and her party to wake up and get to this point. It was a marginal difference.
「Well, we can’t do much until Uncle Doul comes back. What do you want to do?」
「Sun’s gettin’ high. Why don’t we whip up another taste of ol’ Japan?」
Hearing this, Aearis’ expression brightened for a change.
「What are you going to make?」
「Pork, squid, shrimp, beef tenderloin, cabbage, flour, and sweet potato. You can do the math from there, can’t ya?」
Hiroshi responded to Tatsuya with a list of ingredients. A man from Osaka could only be prepping for one dish with that combination of ingredients. Needless to say, both the pork and beef were produced from an animal that taste similar, since they didn’t have the same kind of animals here as they did on Earth. The “pigs” of Farlane, especially, didn’t produce much lard nor broth from its bones (it didn’t host parasites, for that matter). The only similarity between them and pigs on Earth were their looks, as well as the texture and taste of the meat.
「Nice. Can I request it in Modern-style?」
「’Course. I’ll compromise and do Hiroshima-style, but not Monja-style, I’m beggin’ ya. Just a matter of taste, though.」
「That’s okay. Monja-style isn’t my favorite anyway.」
As they discussed the details, they placed a black flat-top on the dining table. It was an industrial-sized flat top that covered a third of their gigantic dining table. They could flip a dozen of Okonomiyaki pancakes at once if they wanted to. The detail of Hiroshi’s craftsmanship really shows through the polished surface and special coatings for rust prevention and whatnot. Not to mention that it had been enchanted here and there to make it a magic-powered. Some serious time was spent on crafting this piece.
「When did you have the time to…」
「When I was checkin’ the furnace. Somethin’ like this don’t take as much materials as it looked.」
The materials, by the way, were recycled metal parts of busted tools he scavenged.
「Alright, let’s get to it.」
With that declaration, Hiroshi started swiftly chopping the cabbage and expertly kneading the dough. He seemed to have some sense of pride in his work, as he prepped the entire thing alone, without even letting Haruna touch it.
「What can I get ya?」
「Modern. Scrambled. With two eggs.」
「Sensei, can I get some cheese on top, too?」
「Sure can. Comin’ right up.」
After taking the orders, he whipped enough everyone’s dish at once. Chuckling at Aearis, who was only able to look up at Hiroshi timidly. He took it upon himself to whip her up a tenderloin scramble, his favorite. Usually, Hiroshi would work with Haruna or Mio, but today he was working alone from start to finish. After cooking up the pancakes in about fifteen minutes, he dressed them with mayonnaise and steak sauce to match everyone’s request before topping it with nori and bonito flakes and handing the dishes out. Then, everyone started eating them with chopsticks rather than the spatula. In fact, Aearis and Rayna had gotten used to using chopsticks, lately. Rayna was rather taken aback by the bonito flakes dancing by the steam, but Aearis didn’t seem to be bothered at all.
And so, Aearis took another step into the depths of Japan’s culinary culture.
「I was expecting you.」
「Sorry for the trouble.」
At the Wulls HQ of the Adventurers’ Association, Douga was speaking with the president of the Association.
「Is she unharmed?」
「She is doing well. Perhaps because she has been dining on rare delicacies, her face is brightening by the day. She looks better than ever.」
「Wonderful to hear.」
The president sighed with utter relief upon hearing this. He was one of the few people outside of court who knew Aearis directly, and as such, one of the few people who was concerned by Aearis’ horrible reputation.
「And at the court?」
「Allow me to explain.」
A young man, closer to a boy’s age, jumped into answer Douga’s question. A soft-looking man, tall and slender, with silver hair and somewhat of a resemblance to Aearis. Even though he only looked like a fifteen-year-old child, he carried a sharp aura about him. Combined with his always-on-alert demeanor, no one (save for the very dull) would dismiss this man as a youngling, or a weakling.
Judging by the fact that he didn’t sense this young man presence until the moment he opened his mouth, Douga assumed that he had transported here with a spell or something. His opportune timing suggested that someone had notified him of Douga’s arrival. Thanks in part to the fact that Layotte himself held an Adventurer’s license, he had a close relationship with the Association.
「I’ve received your reports. You’ve done good work, Ernest.」
「An honor, My Lord.」
Douga kneeled in response, and bowed his head nearly to the ground.
「We’re not in public. At ease, Ernest.」
「Yes, My Lord!」
With Layotte’s permission, Douga took his seat.
「Elena is doing worse. 」
「Her life isn’t in immediate danger, but she can no longer walk on her own.」
Douga gritted his teeth to the news worse than he expected. Layotte continued, as if to console him:
「What did the adventurer tell you?」
「That he would need to see the symptoms for himself, but he can cure most ailments. However, he also said that, whether it be poison or illness, it was possible that it was too late for him to do anything.」
「Can you trust him?」
「At the very least, I can guarantee that he is the best in the city.」
Nodding, Layotte took out his card and contacted someone.
「I called Julius. We’ll be transporting out of here, so he’ll come here on foot. It should take him awhile. Catch me up while he’s on his way. Have you eaten today?」
「No, sir. I intended to return presently after my report.」
「Then let’s eat here. Prepare us something light, will you?」
「Yes, My Lord.」
After watching the president leave, Layotte let out a long sigh.
「We just can’t get ahead, can we?」
「That falls on my hands, My Lord.」
「No, our opponent wields a long-distance transportation spell in a wide range without the High Priest or High Monk realizing. You and your team didn’t stand a chance. It was our fault, actually, for anticipating some kind of attack and failing to prevent it.」
「If I could have only struck him back, even once, Princess Aearis would have had enough time to cast her spell…」
Layotte shook his head to interrupt Douga. His sister had no skill whatsoever when it came to combat. Even if Douga had bought her some time, she couldn’t have cast a spell during the sudden commotion. In fact, he considered it a miracle that she was able to cast the spell to protect herself against Piaranork. Furthermore, a benevolent adventurer coming to the rescue was more than a miracle. Layotte could only explain it as an act of a higher power.
「What is the scoundrel saying?」
「He desperately wants Elena and Aearis to step down from the position of Priestess Princess. He started clamoring that Katrina should be given the position, claiming that Elena is bedridden and that Aearis ran away, abandoning her duties. The Temple is rejecting it for now, but who knows how long that will last…」
「Like the previous Priestess Princess has said, Katrina can ruin our nation from that position. They can bark all they want, but as long as Alfemina-sama doesn’t accept the change, no one but Aearis will serve as the Priestess Princess.」
Douga nodded in sincere agreement. Then, the president of the Association returned with a light meal. A very simple plate, comprised of a warm soup (still steaming) and smoked meat grilled and sandwiched with black bread.
「I’m afraid all we can prepare is this meagre meal…」
「That’s fine. No matter how simple, I would rather eat a fresh and warm meal than nibble from a table full of cold, elaborate dishes, terrified of poison.」
「My Lord, allow me to taste it before…」
「No need. The adventurers are eating these, too, this time of the day. He’s serving the same meal. If there were any poison in the batch, there would have been chaos.」