In Another World With Just Monika Chapter 81
"Oh hi, Alan. How have you been? Please allow me to address your questions in order:
"First off we are Adventurers. We had an adventure. That's what we Do.
"Second, we left at just after sunrise. So what, five hours?
"Third, and? So? How is that relevant to me? I'm an Adventurer, not a Soldier. I'm not sworn to anyone's service."
"The king has been poisoned and is near death."
I winced. "Oooh. That is SUPER relevant then. Wait. Am am I a suspect?"
Micah immediately dived for cover under the counter. Alan scowled at me. "Do you have a guilty conscience? Bah. Whatever. No, we have the suspects already in hand. The whole castle is in lock-down. No one goes in or out, but the Duke ordered me to get you in a hurry anyway."
"How long has it been? Did you ride here from Alephis, or did you put down a teleport circle inside the inn?"
"I got here just a couple of hours ago, yeah." Alan gestured behind him, and a glowing purple spell circle appear in the middle of the room. "Charlotte nagged me into putting down a [Portal] endpoint last time we were here. Her crazy decision turned out to be good in the end."
I nodded. "Well, even though I'm not a Belfastian citizen, it's still to everyone's best interests to help. Elze, Linze, Yae. You want to come along?"
"The fewer people that know about this, the better," Alan warned. "You all here know about because I told you, but if you bring anyone else along that's more people that other people will know that they know about it. If the king dies none of you are ready for how this will explode through the kingdom. Those who are there when the king dies, ignorant people might think they're involved, you know?"
"I might need an assistant, you know?"
"While you're dithering around here, a little girl is watching her uncle die in front of her, you know?"
I grit my teeth. "Ugh. You sure know how to SUPER MOTIVATE someone. I didn't teach Sue that Triage spell [Homo Stasis] for this." I turned to the girls and said "I've got to go. I'll try to get back with news as soon as possible."
Linze clasped her hands together and cried out "Take care, Mister Zah!"
"All right, let's [Boom Tube] out of here-"
"You blow a [Boom Tube] into the palace, everyone's going to think it's under attack. Just get in the circle."
You know how Portkeys in Harry Potter was describe as being dragged through unfathomable space via your navel? Instantaneous transport via [Portal] was unpleasant like that. [Boom Tube] was a tunnel that you could walk or even roll through. I mentioned how much I preferred that experience.
"It's perfect for a showoff like you, but some of us have real work to do that need some discretion," Alan sneered as we rushed up towards the king's bedroom.
As we ran through a second floor landing, we came across a plump man with a toad-like face pacing across the hallway. His beady eyes narrowed even further upon seeing us. "You there! Where do you think you're going?"
"Count Balza. You know me. I'm with the Royal Guards. Please excuse us, we have urgent business."
"Tch. Maybe. But who are you bringing to His Majesty's side? We have it bad enough that the filthy animals have tried to kill our king, this is no time to bring in suspicious people!"
Alan gave him a look that all but stated /'You're the suspicious one!'/ Instead he just said "Please move out of the way, milord. I am on orders from the his Majesty's brother, the Duke Ortlinde." He was very careful not to mention my name, though given how eye-catching was my outfit this anonymity would not last anyway.
The Count gave us a wide repulsive smile. "Heh heh heh. That Duke is far too sympathetic to the likes of things like a beastman. If word of this gets out, and the beast doesn't get her head chopped off and sent back to Mismede, I wonder what the other nobles will think?"
Alan grit his teeth.
"Oh, wait. It's not him that's next in line for the throne, isn't it? It's our poor sweet little Princess Yumina. Heh heh heh. I wonder what that sweet young thing will have to do to get the support of the nobles behind her. A good war needs a strong leader a real man!"
"Let's go. Ignore him."
"Heh heh heh!" his mocking laughter followed us as we rushed past him towards the stairs.
"Who the heck was that?" I asked as we neared the King's Bedroom.
"Don't worry about it. Just focus on healing His Majesty. If he dies, that's only when his ilk gets any importance. We're putting the kingdom's fate in your hands, Sir Zah." Alan scowled with worry.
He paused near the door and waved me to continue. "Go on. I have work to do, we have to make sure no news gets out, and no one gets to escape. I need to go check that they haven't been mistreating the Mismede ambassador. If they can make it seem like she tried to escape, the guards will kill her and we get that war anyway."
Alan rushed away again. The guards announced my entry as 'The doctor Zah Playa'.
"Sir Zah!" both Duke Ortlinde and Sue stood up excitedly. Both of them looked a little worn out. Even Sue's eyes looked a little dark.
"Milord. Sue." Then I looked at the figure on the bed. "And this must be His Majesty. What is his condition? If even I can afford to give my team some poison resistance equipment, shouldn't he have all sorts of anti-poison magic items to prevent this sort of thing from happening?"
The Duke looked towards a rotund bald man standing near the bed. The court physician answered "His Highness does have the strongest poison protection magic available. The poison was just that strong to almost kill him before the magic could slow down or stop it."
I hissed. "Toxins that strong would almost instantly cause brain damage even if we could purge it out his body."
"That is my fear as well," the Duke added.
"Pardon my intrusion, my lords. But you are Sir Von Chara, is that right? I have heard about you from Miss Charlotte." Specifically, Charlotte had been bothering the royal doctor about his medical books, and had him verify every new thing she learned from eavesdropping on Sue's lessons. "I am Raul. Could you please tell us more about this spell [Homo Stasis]?"
"I I couldn't do anything!" Sue wailed. "If only if only I studied a little harder"
"Don't blame yourself, Sue. Even if you studied a little harder, our syllabus wouldn't have covered toxins until much later anyway. Your lessons and range of spells is supposed to turn you into a General Practitioner or Battlefield Medic. It takes very specialized knowledge to deal with venoms and toxins."
Then to the doctor, "[Homo Stasis] is exactly that it puts humans (and humanlike beings) into stasis. Strictly speaking it's not even a medical spell, it's a [ Time ] spell. You all did very well to rush Sue to cast it. It probably stopped any further degradation from happening."
"It's that powerful?!" the doctor gasped, looking wide-eyed at me and then the little girl. "The Battlefield Medic oh, how many lives that could save!" It would simplify triage SO MUCH if the most serious cases could be put into timestop until they could be attended to by the limited number of physicians.
I approached the stricken monarch, and noted the resemblance between him and the Duke. Compared to Alfred Ernes Belfast, who longer back hair and wider handlebrush mustache, the King had full beard and shorter cut blond hair. He looked somewhat like an Obi-wan Kenobi, I guessed. "May I?"
"Go ahead. Do whatever you can to help," said Duke Ortlinde.
/"Player, this is definitely some form of neurotoxin."/ With a sound like breaking glass, Monika appeared beside me in a full-sized hologram. /"There are no external allergic symptoms like with the venoms of snakes, stinging insects and jellyfish. It's probably more related to Batrachotoxin than anything.
/"How was it delivered?"/
The doctor flinched back from her sudden appearance. "A a ghost? Um. No, calm down" He then answered much more evenly "His Majesty was drinking from wine given as a gift by the ambassador to Mismede. What is batrachotoxin?"
"It's a type of poison from golden tree frogs."
Raul began nodding. "Yes, yes, something like that was my thought too. It's poison from an animal, not a plant. It's too deadly to be otherwise."
"Some of the most poisonous creatures in the world live in the Sea of Trees south of Mismede," said the Duke. "That's what makes this so troublesome. It is believable that of all people, it's the beastkin from Mismede who could acquire that toxin."
"Right. I'm going to need to see this poisoned wine."
Duke Ortlinde called for the guards, and after a while they brought the wine and the wineglass the King was drinking from. I blinked.
/"Wait Player, don't you think...?"/
We cast diagnostic spells and it was as we expected. "This wine isn't even poisoned. The poison was laced onto the wineglass."
The Duke looked up sharply. "Are are you sure?! You do know what that means, right?"
"Well if I wanted to assassinate somebody, that's how I would do it." I shrugged. "It would be much simpler compared to having to infiltrate someone else's compound and switch their gifts. If the poisoned party drops the glass and it shatters, it's also nicely self-removing of any evidence."
I pointed at the Duke. "Praise whoever secured this wineglass immediately. You were all so very very lucky it didn't shatter."
"Treason!" the Duke hissed. "How dare they?! All this time first they dared to try to touch Sue, now they are brave enough to actually try to murder their king?! Unforgivable! Tristwin! I won't let them get away with this! The streets of the capital with run red with their blood! I won't care if they think I've become a tyrant who will benefit from your death, or a puppet of Mismede I'll purge them all!"
Doctor Raul coughed into his fist to keep the Duke from raging out of control. "Ahem. Ahem. Perhaps before vengeance is sought, we might consider first if His Majesty can be cured?"
"Monika, would an antivenom work here?"
/"Not really. The antibodies produced from injecting small amounts of venom into cattle and then collected as a vaccine for poison resistance would only work against weaker venoms that don't kill almost instantly."/
"Sir Zah it's it's brain damage, right? Is there something you can do to help?"
Behind Sue, the Duke Ortilinde glared at us accusingly. Duchess Ellen was willing to wait for Sue to be able to cure her mother herself. But if we were to keep on hiding our abilities at this point, that would be unforgivable.
"Mmm. Yes. Well unlike Duchess Ellen, this only happened what, this morning? So he would only lose half a day instead of five years of memory."
Thus, Monika cast [Rewind] and the King was blanketed with a bright white glow that faded away into a man with fuller cheeks and less deathly pallor.
He opened his eyes and yawned, as if waking up in the morning. He blinked. "Alfred? What are you doing here? And Sue too? Doctor Raul." And then upon noticing me, "And who is this (suspicious) person? Why are you all in my bedroom?"
A bit anticlimactic, but even TV medical drama was largely about trying to find the proper solution to an ailment, and the uncertainty if the treatment would be effective. There was also the desperation about the price and availability of treatment. None of these things were relevant to Healing magic.
And then he was informed of everything that happened in the lost hours of his day. "THOSE IMBECILES DID *WHAT?!*"
Even I winced at the raw overpowering fury in his roar.