“Herbert-sama…this, this old man…”
“Don’t talk anymore; just rest up. All you have to worry about right now is fighting this sickness.”
Opposite Herbert was Kevin, currently in lying on top of a bed and wearing a white gown. This gown was said to ward off illness, yet he was still in a considerably worse state of health than usual.
His face has become hollow, and his arms—which used to be quite firm for his age—had become so thin.
Kevin, who was usually by Herbert’s side and did whatever the boy asked, was in no state to take care of Herbert right now. After all, Kevin was bedridden for the foreseeable future.
“This old man has already lived a long life. It’s shorter than I expected it, but as they say, life is a series of unexpected events.”
Kevin has contracted a rare disease called [Breath of Campanella]
This was one of the first three events Herbert’s future self had warned that would happen soon.
Only one in a million people was said to contract this disease. It had no known cure or treatment at the moment and was thus considered an incurable illness by the kingdom.
When one contracts this disease, they first feel intense pain within their bodies. That pain didn’t last for long though, and the patient would somehow feel nothing was amiss.
However, before long, what would be considered this rare illness’ real symptom would appear. The patient’s body gradually petrifies from the inside. Their internal organs, their veins, and eventually even their skin would all turn to stone.
In the end, the patient would become nothing more than a stone statue.
It was said that when god created man, they gave breath into stone.
In contrast, this was a disease that turned man into stone.
Hence, it was dubbed [Breath of Campanella].
“Don’t you worry, gramps, I’ll take care of it.”
Not only was the cure for this illness not discovered yet, even the use of healing magic had limited effect. At most, magic only served to slow down its progress.
And yet, Herbert still wore his usual proud face.
Herbert had readied himself for this particular day.
After all…his future self has told him about the illness in advance, including how to fight it.
An incurable disease didn’t necessarily mean there was no cure for it, just that the cure hasn’t been discovered yet.
I’m really grateful for this…without this knowledge from the future, there might have been nothing I could do.
In 7 years, the cure for [Breath of Campanella] would be discovered, thus removing it from the list of incurable diseases.
The cure was a wonder drug called [Clod Medicine]. One of its core ingredients was [Stone Root], a kind of medical herb, at its freshest state.
Once the drug has been made, it would lose half of its potency after only a day, and would lose all its effects after just a couple more. To make matters worse, this ingredient could only be found in a few areas. Areas where vicious monsters lived, to be specific.
In other words, in order to make some [Clod Medicine], an apothecary or an alchemist who could prepare the drug and also defend themselves to an extent must venture forth into those dangerous areas.
For those reasons, this drug sold for eye-popping prices even 20 years into the future.
Which made sense once you thought about it. An apothecary could earn enough coin without placing themselves in harm’s way, so they had no reason under normal circumstances to take on such a dangerous job. It would take a lot of money for anyone capable of making the drug to be convinced of going into those places.
And then, even if you somehow convinced one, if they had no fighting capabilities at all, their odds of survival was considerably low. There was no guarantee that a party would succeed in getting some [Stone Root] in the first place, yet there was always the possibility that the apothecary might wound up dead.
And then, even after obtaining the ingredients and making the drug, it still wasn’t over. Now, the drug must be delivered and administered quickly. That meant that transportation costs were quite significant and that a time limit must be met.
With all these considerations in mind, it wasn’t surprising that, despite [Breath of Campanella] no longer being an incurable disease, only so few people had ever recovered from it.
But Herbert was different.
After all, he learned how to use the intermediate-level spacetime magic spell Dimension despite it being lackluster in combat. Rather, he learned Dimension exactly for this cause.
By utilizing the different flow of time within a subspace, both [Stone Root] and [Clod Medicine] could be preserved to an extent.
“Now that you’re bedridden like this, gramps, I’ll have some of the maids to take over your duties.”
“Then, from those that show promise, I suppose I would recommend the fair Syrup. But…”
“But, yeah, her tea’s so strong.”
Herbert said so while making a face that looked like he tasted something bitter.
Even if a maid was a beautiful woman and one who did their best in their own way, at the end of the day, Herbert would much prefer it be Kevin who was by his side.
“Yeah…it can really only be you, Kevin.”
“Up until you pass away, I want you by my side.”
“Yes, this old man too…thinks that’s a wonderful idea.”
“Then wait here for the good news. Just believe in me, gramps.”
“Yes, I will, like I, always, have…”
His physical strength perhaps sapped away by the illness, Kevin lost consciousness before he could finish his sentence.
After confirming that Kevin was breathing normally, Herbert began to leave the sickroom. With his back turned to Kevin, Herbert steeled his resolve. His eyes—which was regaining its double eyelid characteristics—was full of burning determination.
TL note: “Furigii” is the furigana/suggested pronunciation given for “stone root”. No reference comes to my mind. Incidentally, I don’t know if Campanella is a reference to some myth or something.