Chapter 62: Medicinal Herbs (William’s Point of View)
Silence descends as if time has stopped.
I tried to reflect on the words of the doctor in my head, but I couldn’t recognize the voice as words for a while, like when I listen to a series of irregular sounds.
([The knight there is a woman?])
Dr. Turner is looking at me silently.
(Woman… female…? Leah is female, and this person said so just now?)
A sigh escapes.
“What are you saying…? He’s male.”
When I say that, Dr. Turner quietly replies.
“Can you prove it?”
I open my mouth at those words.
“Such… there’s nothing to prove, Leah and I have been together since we were 12…”
What comes to mind is his neatly dressed knight’s uniform.
“We spent… time…”
Even in the hot summer, the buttons of his knight’s uniform were always fastened to the top.
Come to think of it, I’ve never seen his skin except for his face and hands.
[Is he a man with a poor figure.]
Before Leah was attacked, those words were spoken by a noble son, pointing at Leah.
I don’t think Leah’s body is poor.
However… If I think of him as male, Leah’s body is thin enough to be pointed out by others.
Pachiri, pachiri, the pieces of the puzzle in my head fit together like they’re fitting into place.
Dr. Turner watched me intently, but as he approached Leah and rolled up the cloth around his neck, he relaxed Leah’s collar.
“Look. This is the proof.”
The doctor pointed to Leah’s neck.
The prominent Adam’s apple that should be visible on a man’s throat after the end of puberty is not visible on Leah’s throat.
“This is impossible…”
When I murmur that, Dr. Turner shakes his head sideways.
“It’s the truth… and this detoxification medicine is nothing but water that is no longer useful at this moment.”
I remember the doctor’s earlier words.
[This detoxification medicine will work perfectly on a man. However, it will not work on a woman. The female-specific hormones in the body will interfere with the absorption of this detoxification medicine. If you want to detoxify this poison for a woman, you must also take a rare herb that grows only in the neighboring country at the same time.]
“That’s right, Leah is… if that detoxification medicine doesn’t work, what will happen to Leah…?! That herb that grows only in the neighboring country…”
Dr. Turner lowers his face at my question.
“…The kinu grass, which grows only in the neighboring country, is a very rare item and does not exist in our country. It is a herb that is not easily circulated even in the neighboring country. Even if you go to the neighboring country, it will take at least one month to get the kinu grass. By that time, this patient will already be…”
When I heard that, I felt the ground crumble beneath my feet.
Dr. Turner averts his eyes from me as if to avoid my gaze.
“I’ll do my best, but you should be prepared.”
I look back at Leah.
(Losing Leah, being prepared…?)
Like older brother, like father, like mother.
Leah will become a mute corpse.
The doctor in front of me is saying to prepare for that.
Thinking to that extent, the world in front of me went dark.
From there, my memory became hazy, and before I knew it, I was walking down the hallway with Dr. Turner towards the gates of the ducal mansion.
“I’ll come again.”
Dr. Turner says that and looks at me with a pained expression.
“I understand your feelings. But if you fall too, it’s all over. Please be sure to get enough sleep and eat properly.”
I nod vaguely at the doctor’s words.
At that time, I realized that as I approached the gate, I could hear loud voices.
As I approached the gate, the voices became louder.
“Oh, Your Grace!”
Just as I was about to reach the gate, Deputy Captain Johnson of the guard ran up to me.
“Your Grace, two civilians have rushed in and are insisting on seeing Captain Flores. We can’t be too rough with them. What should we do?”
When I looked towards the gate, I saw a man and a woman with chestnut hair who seemed to be arguing with the knight who was guarding the gate.
“That’s why! Let us see your captain! We heard that Leah collapsed from poison, let us at least confirm that she’s safe!”
“Just let us see her for a moment, please! Is Leah okay? Just tell us that much!”
As I looked at the man and woman standing in front of the gate, I felt a sense of familiarity with the woman with chestnut hair and narrowed my eyes.
(That’s right, she’s the woman who was with Leah in front of the show window on the clothing street)
As I remembered that, my gaze crossed with the chestnut-haired young man’s hazel eyes.
“…It’s you, you’re His Grace William Moore, aren’t you! We’re not suspicious, we’re Riley Morgan, a merchant, and Poppy Morgan, a tailor in the capital!”
I blink at the desperate appearance of these people.
At that time, Doctor Turner, who was next to me, opened his mouth.
“You people, His Excellency the Duke is not mentally comfortable at the moment. Please do not push him any further.”
Upon the doctor’s voice, their attention turned towards him.
“That outfit… You are a doctor. Please, tell us about Leah’s condition!!”
Doctor Turner stared at them intently, but eventually shook his head.
“There’s no way I can tell you. Is there a doctor who would talk about a patient without regard for who they are?”
They hang their heads in despair.
Doctor Turner turned towards me and bowed.
“Your Excellency, please be strong. I will contact you as soon as I receive information about the kinu grass.”
Saying that, he attempted to get on his carriage, but a young man named Riley Morgan grabbed his clothes.
“The kinu grass is a valuable herb from the neighboring country, right… Is it necessary for Leah’s treatment? What will happen if it’s not there…? Hey, what will happen?!”
“Without the kinu grass, Leah will not be saved.”
Before I knew it, such words were rolling out of my mouth.
“The herb is necessary for Leah’s detoxification. But it is not available.”
My spirit, reaching its limit, spewed words out of its own mouth one after another.
“Prepared to lose Leah…? There’s no way I could do that…! However… there’s no choice left anymore…”
The surroundings fell silent.
“The Captain can’t be saved… Is that really true…?”
When I looked up, startled, everyone there was staring at me.
Deputy Captain Johnson spoke in a trembling voice.
“It’s a lie, right…? It has to be a lie… Hey, Doctor, it’s a lie, right?”
Johnson stumbled towards Doctor Turner.
“Say it’s a lie… Say it’s a lie!!”
Upon that scream, Doctor Turner turned his face away.
A woman named Poppy Morgan, seeing the scene, covered her mouth with her hand, trembling.
When a heavy silence filled the room.
“Let me take care of it.”
A resolute voice echoed in the room.
“What do you mean by ‘let me take care of it’?”
Doctor Turner asked in surprise, and Riley Morgan, who spoke, had a strong light in his eyes.
“I am a merchant. I have my own distribution routes and I also do business with the neighboring country. I also have experience trading in herbs. I will definitely be able to obtain the kinu grass.”
“It should take at least a month to get the kinu grass… There is only about a week left until the poison circulates in the patient’s body. Do you still say it can be done?”
The young man with chestnut-colored hair nods in response to the doctor’s question.
“Yes, I will show you. My best friend’s life is at stake. I will try to do anything, no matter how difficult it is.”
Saying that, he turns towards me.
“Hey, Duke, let me take care of this. I want to save my best friend.”
The young man said that with strong eyes.