Several hours passed as we travelled in the carriage. Before long, we arrived safely at the Sfir home.
Besides Sophia and myself Alice, Elsa, and Milli were also here. Claire had to stay in Muhle to attend to business.
It’s not like we’re on vacation or anything, but I do feel bad leaving Claire behind again.
Maybe I’ll do something fun with her when we’ve finished things with Elyse. As I was thinking this, Eric came to greet us.
“I heard that you’ve gathered all of the materials needed for the medicine. Is this true?”
“Yes, we have everything. Milli.”
I instructed Milli – who was accompanying me as a maid – to retrieve the materials. She got a package out of our carriage and showed it to Eric.
“The liver of a Lyk Skull Bear, an earth dragon’s claw, and leaves from a World Tree.”
“Ah…amazing. It’s what I’d expect from you. No wonder everyone says you’re the most powerful family in the country.”
“No, I just got lucky….”
That’s the second time today I’ve heard someone say that. I personally think the king possesses the most power…. Probably.
“Even if that’s true…you really gathered quite a large amount.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t sure exactly how much we’d need…. I brought the liver and claw as well as a bundle of leaves. Do you think this will be enough?”
“I think it should be. I’ll go find the doctor right away.”
“Of course. Would you mind if I accompany you? There’s something I’d like to speak with you about.”
“Oh, of course, you can.”
“Thank you…. What will you two do?”
That last question was directed at Alice and Sophia.
“Can I go see Mother?”
“I’m fine with that, but….”
I’ve heard that Elyse’s condition has deteriorated. Sophia is still just a young girl. It might be bad for Sophia to see Elyse if she’s in bad shape…. Eric probably knows best.
“She’s not doing well, but her condition isn’t so bad that it would be impossible for you to see her. Have her servant check to see if she’s asleep or not when you get there.”
“– seems like it should be fine.”
“Then I’ll go see Mother. Say hi to Seth for me.”
“Yeah, sure…. What about you, Alice?”
“I’ll…go with Sophia-chan.”
Sophia and Alice left together and I went with Eric to meet the Sfir family’s doctor.
We went to the same wing of the mansion where rooms belonging to family members were. This area of the mansion didn’t seem much different from where I had stayed before. The only difference I could see was an extravagant carpet laid down the middle of the hall.
“Has this doctor served your family for long?”
“He has. Before I was even born, Seth had already been serving my family for years. He also took care of Sophia and me when we were children.”
“..and you think he’s well trained?”
Eric doesn’t know this but I know that Sophia has been healthy ever since I met her. I’m not sure if this doctor had much to do with that.
“I can say from experience that he is good at his job.”
He sounded confident in Seth’s skill but didn’t give me any specifics.
He was probably injured by a sword when he was training and this doctor treated him. The person that injured Eric was probably that former Knight Captain — the one Sophia killed.
I decided it was best not to bring that up and decided to change the subject.
“Is Sophia close to this doctor? Did he ever need to treat her when she was young?”
“I’m sure he did at some point. As I said, he had been serving my family for years before either of us were born. I’m sure Sophia trusts him.”
“Oh…so she does.”
“Sophia was reserved when I first met her because of her ability. It would be rare for Sophia back then to trust someone.
I was wondering what kind of person this doctor would be…but apparently, he’s a good man.
“So you feel you can trust this doctor to continue serving your family?”
“You have serious trust issues, don’t you? I know I can…. After all, it’s not just him that’s served our family.”
“…what do you mean?”
“Seth’s son became a knight in order to serve my family.”
“Ah, so his son is a Sfir knight.”
In this world, it isn’t necessarily required for a child to serve the same family as their parent, but if his son chose to do so, it’s probably a good sign. I thought so, but Eric quietly shook his head.
“He actually died on a mission to subjugate a group of bandits.”
“Oh, I see…. I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s fine…. We’ve arrived at his room.”
Eric knocked on his door and, before long, an elderly man opened the door and said, “Who’s there?”
“Eric-sama, what are you doing here?”
“I’ve actually got some great news, but allow me to introduce him to you first. This is Leon, the head of the Grances family.”
“Hello, I’m Leon Grances.”
I bowed as I gave him my name, but Seth remained silent as he stared back at me.
Why does he seem so surprised? Eric cleared his throat and this seemed to return Seth to his senses.
“Please, excuse me. This is our first time meeting. I am Seth, the doctor for the Sfir family. So…what news did you have for me?”
“We have everything we need to make the cure for Elyse. We need you to make the medicine.”
“Y-You’ve really managed to gather the materials!?”
“Yes, everything is here.”
I motioned for Milli to come forward and she presented Seth with the ingredients. When he saw them, his entire body started to tremble.
“Are t-these…all genuine?”
“– Seth, it’s rude of you to doubt the Earl of Grances.”
“O-Of course, forgive me!”
Seth gave me a deep bow. Looking at him like this, a bitter smile appeared on my face.
“I really don’t mind. I can understand your skepticism, but these are the real deal. An earth dragon’s claw, the liver of a Lyk Skull Bear, and leaves from a World Tree.”
“T-They do seem genuine….”
Seth began to sway back and forth. Eric quickly stepped forward and supported the old man’s body.
“– are you all right?”
“Y-Yes…. I was just a little overwhelmed. I never expected you to be able to gather these.”
“I can understand why. The liver should’ve been the easiest to obtain, but it ended up being the hardest.”
Eric must be feeling more relaxed now that the medicine seems attainable. He let out a small laugh.
“…it wasn’t the leaves?”
“It seems the leaves were actually easiest. At first, I thought Leon was joking, but…it seems the Earl of Grances really lives in a different world than the rest of us.”
I thought he might be criticizing me — but it seemed like I was the only one that took it that way.
“– *ahem* So how long will it take to complete the medicine, Seth?”
“Ah, right, the medicine…. It should take me one week, no, three days. I’ll have it ready in three days.”
“Three days…. That’s quite a while.”
“I need to dry out the liver.”
“I see…. Well, if you say so, I guess it can’t be helped. Please, get it done as quickly as you can. I’m worried about Elyse’s condition.”
After leaving the ingredients with Seth, I went to see how Sophia was doing —
“Why won’t you speak to me?”
“I’ve told you several times already. I don’t want to see you.”
As I was walking down the hall, I could hear arguing coming from the direction of Elyse’s room. It was Sophia and Elyse.
I thought it would be best for me to step in, but I don’t know the full context of what’s going on. For now, I decided to wait nearby and listen in.
“You’re so stubborn, Mother!”
“I know I am and that doesn’t change anything. Just leave. I don’t know how many times I have to tell you before you finally get it, but you’re no longer a member of this family.”
“…why would you say something so horrible? All I want to do is make up with you….”
“You’re the one saying horrible things. I’ve already told you he will never be able to forgive the person that helped kill his family….”
“Mother, you idiot –!”
Sophia ran down the hall away from me. Alice turned away from Elyse’s room and saw me.
“Ah, Leon, I didn’t know you were here.”
“I just got here. Is Sophia okay?”
“I think they’ll be fine. Sophia would be able to better understand her mother if she used her ability. So why doesn’t she use it?”
I told Alice that Sophia lied to her mother and told her she could no longer use her ability, and I told her how Sophia didn’t want to deceive Elyse by using her ability.
“Yeah, umm — would you mind finding Sophia?”
“Of course. I’ll go talk to her.”
Alice turned around and casually walked down the hall.
I wondered whether she’d be able to find her with such a casual attitude, but she does have enhanced senses. I couldn’t find Claire when I was searching for her, but Alice should be able to find Sophia without much effort.
I gave one last look at Alice as she disappeared around a corner before turning to face Elyse’s door. I took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
“…who is it?”
“…now I have to deal with you?”
“Do you mind if I come in?”
“…do whatever you like.”
She agreed but was clearly reluctant to do so. It’s not like I can turn back now. I said, “Pardon my intrusion,” as I entered her room. Elyse let out a big sigh when she saw me.
But I was more concerned with how she looked. Her complexion has clearly worsened since the last time I saw her.
“I’m sorry for bothering you, but I wanted to ask you something while Sophia wasn’t here.”
“I don’t like to agree with you, but I want to ask you something and I don’t want Sophia to be here either.”
“Good. Then, you may go first.”
I was curious to hear what she had to say.
“I’m going to get straight to the point. Will you forgive me for what I did?”
“No. I will never forgive you.”
I gave her my answer immediately. Elyse seemed to be expecting it as she continued on without hesitating.
“Then why did you bring Sophia here?”
“Didn’t she tell you herself? She wants to make up with you.”
“Even though you still hate me? Obviously, I also want to mend my relationship with Sophia, but those are my own selfish desires. What does it matter what I want?”
“If that’s what you want why did you tell Sophia you didn’t want to talk to her?”
Elyse must think I’m against them making up. If things continue like this I’m afraid it will really hurt Sophia.
“Didn’t you say you wanted to ask me something earlier?”
“…I did, but now I think I was worried about nothing.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“I can never forgive you for what you did, but I still want Sophia to be happy.”
“So you want Sophia and I to get along?”
“Yes. Sophia desperately wants to make up with you. Don’t worry about me and get along with her.”
“…you really have a big heart. I can’t help but regret the fact that I never realized how talented you were back then.”
I stayed silent as I listened to Elyse. It wasn’t because I wished for the same thing, but rather because I felt like it was my fault.
I just have knowledge from my previous life. If I really were talented I would’ve been able to avoid that tragedy.
“That’s everything I had to say to you. It’s your turn now.”
“I actually had two things I needed to tell you. The first one is actually a report.”
“You’re giving a report to me?”
“I’m now formally going out with Sophia. She’s my lover, but she’s not my only one. Are you okay with that?”
“…it’s the first time we’ve seen each other in a while but I’m feeling an overwhelming desire to kill you. Does that make things clear?”
“She may be the second but I’m serious about being with her. There’s a good chance there will be a third, but I’m serious about all of them. I thought you deserved to know.”
“…and you’re not lying?”
“I swear on the honour of the Grances name.”
If this were Alice, I don’t think swearing on my family name would mean much to her, but to Elyse, it’s almost like an unbreakable promise.
But, of course, I’m telling the truth.
“…I don’t even know if I should qualify as that girl’s mother anymore, so my opinion may not matter. If she’s accepted it, I’m fine with it…. That being said, if you ever do anything that makes her cry, I’ll pray for you to suffer a painful death.”
“You won’t have to worry about that. Would you like to tell Sophia? I’m sure she’d be happy to hear.”
“Is that the second thing you wanted to speak with me about?”
“Yes, I told you before, I want you and Sophia to reconcile. You don’t have to worry about me. What do you say?”
“I’m grateful for the offer, but I can’t accept.”
“…do you hate Sophia?”
Sophia killed Carlos and Regis before trying to kill Elyse. I thought this must be the case, but she just shook her head.
“If I were to say I don’t completely hate her, I’d know I’d be lying…. Still, she is my precious daughter.”
“Then, why!? Sorry. If you don’t mind telling me.”
“Are you blind? I don’t have much longer to live. Even if I were to make up with her it wouldn’t matter. I’ll die soon and then she’ll be sad again.”
“You don’t have long to live…? Did she not tell you about the medicine?”
“…medicine? Sophia did say something about that, but there is no cure for my illness. Seth has never mentioned one to me.”
“…Seth said that?”
Why would he do that? I wonder if he was he afraid the ingredients would never be able to be gathered so he didn’t want to give her false hope.
I’d think he’d tell her even if the possibility of making it is low…. Maybe he really did think there was no hope.
I told her about the medicine and how we had gathered the necessary ingredients.
“This medicine…it actually exists?”
“Yes, and Sophia worked hard to gather everything we needed.”
“She did that for me?”
“Yes, you should be cured. So, please, make up with Sophia.”
Elyse still seemed hesitant.
“Why are you still wavering?”
“…I’ve committed so many terrible sins. Do I really deserve to be with my daughter again?”
“That’s…something for Sophia to decide.”
People that were close to her died as well; she’s suffered enough…. I know that’s how I should feel, but I can’t fully accept that.
But, I know Sophia wants this. That’s an undeniable fact.
“You’re right. Can you give me a moment, Leon?”
“Sure. Take as much time as you need. Personally, I think you should make up with her.”
Elyse will soon be cured. She’ll have plenty of time to mend her relationship with her daughter. With this thought in mind, I left Elyse alone with her thoughts.