“Young master, may I ask you something that has been on my mind ever since we started this journey?”
“Hmm? What is it? If something’s on your mind, you can ask me whenever you want, you know.”
“No, when you need to be ready for battle at anytime, idle thoughts like this should be left for later.”
Only upon reaching a village did Rodeo deem it was safe for their group to turn off their battle mode.
And with that, Rodeo himself returned to being his usual self. In almost an instant, the demon instructor changed into the good-natured military officer.
“So, why did you make us take a detour all the way to the Katoko village? Using your Dimension, wouldn’t it better to make the medicine back in Spinel?”
Marlon wasn’t given any detailed explanation about Herbert’s magic, so all he could do was listen in while looking confused. That and having an expression that said he didn’t like being out of the loop.
Marlon was only told that Kevin had fallen ill and that Herbert wanted his help to procure the ingredients for the cure. Important information—such as the fact that the illness was considered incurable or the fact that Herbert himself knew of the recipe for the illness’s cure—were kept hidden from him.
As for why, it was because Marlon was honest to a fatal fault. If he was told those details and he somehow relayed that information to others, it would mean great trouble. And so, instead of those details, Herbert simply said:
“I want you to help us.”
To which, Marlon replied, “Alright”
Between these two men, even simple words like that were enough.
And so, Herbert answered Rodeo’s question with carefully selected words that he thought to be fine for even Marlon to hear.
“There is the possibility that Dimension could be canceled in a fight. For one thing, there’s no telling if my mana will last if I have to fight. So, I thought it would be best to go to the nearest apothecary instead.”
It looked like Rodeo wanted to say something else, but in the end chose to be silent.
Herbert guessed that it probably had something to do with how he knew where to find an apothecary in an area practically no one goes to. The problem was, even if Rodeo asked, Herbert couldn’t really talk about the source of his information.
Herbert didn’t know how the future would change, so in order for the course of events to be as similar to the one described in the letter from the future, it was necessary to minimize the uncertain elements in play.
Incidentally, Herbert himself had no idea how his future self knew of the whereabouts of the apothecary. He was simply going where he was told to go. After all, there was no need doubt his future self’s efforts to save Kevin.
“Rodeo, the apothecary in the village is named Ashitaba. Seek her out.”
“Understood, young master.”
Marlon watched Rodeo head into the village. For some reason, he looked a bit astonished.
“I tend to forget when we’re together, but you really are the son of a duke, aren’t you?”
“Yeah. When we’re outside of the academy and in public, be sure to adjust your speech. I don’t want to cause more trouble to my father than what I already have.”
“…I understand. I’m not really good at it, but I’ll try my best.”
“That said, if we’re in the presence of mutual acquaintances, it should be fine for you to act as usual.”
“…right, I’ll do just that. I guess it’s because I grew up somewhere remote, but speaking all stiff and formal just makes me feel uneasy.”
“Yes, I am Ashitaba, but…who are you people?”
The person Rodeo brought along was a head shorter than what Herbert imagined.
In fact, given her height and her face, she looked entirely like a child. The baggy robe she was wearing didn’t help and only gave the impression that she was trying to look bigger than what she actually was.
Rodeo looked puzzled while Marlon didn’t even bother hiding his doubts as he looked at Ashitaba.
Herbert, meanwhile, was unfazed by her young appearance. After all, Herbert was strongly confident in himself, and by extension, his future self. If his future self said this girl could make the medicine, Herbert was certain she could.
“Forgive the late introductions. I am Herbert von Unruh. Although I suppose it would be better to introduce myself as the eldest son of Duke Unruh.”
“Ahh! Forgive my rudeness!”
“Wait, there’s no need for that. We’re here to ask you for a favor, after all.”
When Ashitaba tried to press her forehead to the ground, Herbert immediately stopped her.
Ashitaba would be absolutely essential in saving Kevin. As such, Herbert didn’t want her to have a bad impression of him.
“Marlon, give us a moment.”
“…fine. But can you give me a proper explanation later?”
“Sure. Once this is all over, I’ll tell you everything.”
Marlon agreed and stepped away as asked.
Herbert then immediately cut to the main point.
“Truth be told, a close attendant of mine has contracted the [Breath of Campanella] disease.”
“[Breath of Campanella], you say…”
“Yes. And I’ve obtained the recipe to its cure. I would like to have your help in making it.”
“—fool! There’s no cure for that disease! I know that for a fact after losing 3 patients before my very eyes!”
Ashitaba got a little too worked up and forgot to use polite speech.
Despite that, Herbert just looked on at her with calm in his eyes.
If her words was anything to go by, she already had experience with this illness. In other words, this conversation shouldn’t take too long.
“You’ve been tricked! Instead of finding this miracle cure, you should instead go back to that patient and be with them for whatever little time they have left……”
Ashitaba’s voice trailed off as she turned away from Herbert.
The way she seemed to recall things, Herbert couldn’t help but notice her overflowing compassion. However, for someone whose occupation dealt with life and death firsthand, it could be argued that it wasn’t wise to empathize so much with each of her patients.
She seemed to have beliefs regarding life, among other things, that she wouldn’t compromise on. Herbert didn’t dislike people like that.
I was wondering what kind of person they’ll be…but as to be expected, the people my future self trusts the most are those who do what they do with utmost passion.
Herbert then took out a piece of paper from his breast pocket.
This paper which he passed to Ashitaba had the recipe and manufacturing process for making [Clod Medicine], the cure for [Breath of Campanella].
“Read this. I don’t understand it well myself, but maybe an expert like you will see something I don’t.”
“…I’ll give it a read.”
Ashitaba politely received it and began reading.
It was clear that she was initially dubious of the document’s content, but halfway through reading it, her expressions changed and she was focusing on every written word.
She read it again and again from start to finish. Occasionally, she would grumble something while her hand was on her chin. The terminologies she uttered made almost no sense to Herbert, but he chose to be patient until she was ready.
Herbert didn’t know how much time had passed when Ashitaba finally raised her head.
Although, he knew it was long enough for his behind to hurt after sitting on a chair that wasn’t custom-made though.
“Yes, I can make this…I think.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
“But since it needs the [Stone Root] to be extremely fresh…I suppose that means I should go with you into the [Chaos Flugel], doesn’t it?”
Herbert smiled as her face stiffened at the realization.
That said, her eyes said she was ready to risk her life if need be.
It would be a great shame if she were to fall in such a place, especially if it could be helped, so after looking troubled for a bit, Herbert spoke.
“No, that won’t be an issue. We’ve…we’ve got a method for that.”
“However, we are pressed for time. So, what we will ask instead is for you to gather the rest of the ingredients. Money is no object, so charge us whatever it takes.”
Rodeo then set down a bag. Upon looking at the staggering amount of gold coins within, Ashitaba’s face twitched.
“I won’t need this much, Herbert-sama.”
But her face quickly returned to normal and she looked at Herbert dead in the eye.
“As incompetent as I may be, I, Ashitaba, will follow the recipe and make the [Clod Medicine] for you.”
“Good. And for your services, I will pay—”
“No, Herbert-sama, I will not ask for money. Instead…I will ask for your permission to disclose this recipe to the Apothecary and Alchemists’ Guilds.”
“You really don’t have any greed in your bones, do you?”
Releasing the recipe to the public was Ashitaba’s asking price.
Herbert didn’t have to think on which way he leaned into. The recipe would be known to the public in seven years anyway, so releasing it now shouldn’t change the grand scheme of things.
“Very well. Upon my name as Herbert von Unruh, I hereby allow the disclosure of this recipe to the public.”
Herbert then stood up and extended a hand toward her.
Rodeo urged her to stand up as well, but she was just too confused on why Herbert extended his hand.
It was when Herbert moved his extended hand up and down that Ashitaba finally understood. Smiling to herself, she extended her own hand and shook Herbert’s.
Like that, Herbert has made great progress toward getting what he needed to save Kevin.
All that was needed now was to acquire some [Stone Root] and keep it fresh.
Gramps, just wait a little more…I’ll save you no matter what.