While dragging the tied up Seth behind us, we rushed to Elyse’s room. As we turned into the hall with Elyse’s room, a maid ran up to us when she spotted us.
“Eric-sama, it’s bad. Elyse’s condition has deteriorated!”
“I already know. Who’s with her now?”
“Alice-sama is currently checking on her condition.”
“Thank you. Wait outside her room until we’re finished.”
Eric gave instructions to the maid before entering the room. We followed after him.
Inside, Alice was desperately trying to hold Elyse in bed as her face was covered in anguish and her body was thrashing around. Sophia was anxiously watching this scene beside the bed
Sophia ran up to me the moment she noticed I had come in.
“Leon onii-chan! It’s…It’s really bad! Alice onee-chan said the poison Seth gave her is horribly toxic!”
“Seth already told us…. How is she doing?”
Sophia turned her eyes to Alice.
“Alice, how bad is it?”
“She’s slipping in and out of conscious and convulsions have started. What did you give her!?”
Alice was at her limit. Her pink hair was dishevelled and there was clear desperation in her voice when she yelled at Seth.
“What kind of poison did you give her, Seth?”
“…do you think I’m just going to tell you?”
Sophia was clinging onto me. It will be impossible for her to user her ability in this situation. But, Sophia immediately whispered the description of the poison in my ear.
She said it was a material that Seth had gathered from a metal gathered in a mine.
“…Alice, it’s probably arsenic. She’s most likely suffering from acute arsenic poisoning.”
“– arsenic!? I can’t make a chelating agent!”
I’m not sure what a ‘chelating agent’ is but I can assume it can cure arsenic poisoning, and based on her reaction, it’s quite serious.
“Is there no other way to cure her? What about white magic?”
“It could help her body resist the poison, but white mages are rare and we won’t be able to find one in time.”
“– could we induce vomiting?”
“She’s already vomited everything in her stomach. I’m making her drink water now, but..she only remains conscious for a few moments so she’s not drinking much. The only other solution I can think of is a transfusion.”
“…transfusion? A blood transfusion?”
“Yeah. I don’t know the specifics, but it helps in hydrating her and replaces lost electrolytes. We could also use a saline solution instead….”
“That…doesn’t seem possible.”
It would be dangerous for us to attempt something we don’t know enough about.
Besides, we don’t even have the equipment needed to attempt a transfusion. Maybe Alice could — no, I don’t think it’s possible.
“It’s useless! I’ve given her several grams of arsenic! Even if you know what she’s been poisoned with, there’s nothing you can do!”
Seth declared his victory. But Alice and I were given hope.
Seth used the standard of measurement created by Alice to measure out the arsenic. That standard of measurement was created by measuring out what Alice thought was close to one litre of water. Therefore, one gram would be based on this system.
So there’s a good chance one gram here isn’t equal to one gram on Earth.
But – if my memory serves correct – the lethal dose of arsenic is several hundred milligrams. A few grams, even if it’s slightly off, would be more than ten times that. If that’s the case, she can’t be saved.
“…Sophia, I’m sorry, but I may not be able to save her. That’s why…I want you to use your ability on her.”
I thought this would be the next best thing. If Elyse dies, this will leave Sophia with the least amount of pain and regret.
I want to save Elyse if possible, but I don’t see any way of doing that.
Sophia deserves to know how her mother really feels about her.
This is the best I can do now, even if Sophia hates me for it, but Sophia wasn’t angry or sad, she just shook her head.
“I’m not going to use my ability on her. I want her to tell me how she feels with her own words.”
“…Sophia, I can understand how you feel, but if you don’t do this now, you’ll come to regret it like me.”
“I won’t regret anything. I believe in you, Leon onii-chan.”
“You said you may not be able to save her. That means there’s still a chance, right?”
I looked over at Elyse once more.
She’s convulsing and losing consciousness. Considering how much she consumed, she should be showing even worse symptoms.
The fact that she’s not dead yet is amazing. There’s little hope of saving her, but Sophia still hasn’t given up.
“I believe in all of you. I know that Leon onii-chan, Alice onee-chan, and Claire onee-chan will save my mother.”
She has complete trust in us, and she won’t blame us even if Elyse dies.
But I know she’ll blame herself. I went through the same thing when my parents died.
I know she believes in me, but there’s nothing I can do.
“– otouto-kun, the leaves of the World Tree! I read about it before when I was looking for information about the cure. If you boil the leaves you can make a medicine that increases one’s life force.”
“Enhance your life force…?”
Elyse has already been poisoned. It’s most important to remove the toxins from her body, but if we can’t do that, it will just become a fight to see which gives out first: the poison or her body. If we increase her vitality, we may be able to give her a chance.
“Can we make it now?”
“I don’t know…. The doctor may know, but I only read about it in a book.”
I looked over at Seth who seemed to be relishing the fact that he was our only hope.
“Do you think I’ll teach you?”
“…no, I don’t.”
That was an honest answer. Of course, he won’t help us. However, just by watching his reaction, I have my answer.
He knows of such a medicine. I looked over at Sophia.
“– Yeah, leave it to me.”
Sophia walked over to Seth.
“It’s useless, Lady Sophia. You can only use your ability to read what a person is currently thinking about. I made a mistake earlier but that won’t happen again.”
“…Mother never told you.”
Sophia smiled a cold, emotionless smile. It’s something I’d never expect to see on a girl like her.
“What do you mean?”
“I kept it secret because I was afraid it would scare away everyone around me, but I can do more with my ability. I can read through all of the memories of anyone I want.”
“You can read through all of a person’s memories? Something like that can’t be possible….”
Seth tried to break free of Elsa’s grasp but Sophia quickly reached forward and placed her palm on his temple.
“Show me your memories –”
Then, a moment of silence.
Sophia would’ve been able to read all of his memories instantaneously. She bit her lip as the strain of using her ability at full power hit her.
“– Sophia, are you okay?”
I grabbed onto her shoulders and stared into her crimson eyes. Tears were pouring out of them and she was staring off into space.
When she first read my mind, all of my memories poured into her and she temporarily went insane. I was worried this may happen again, but…she wiped away the tears and told me she was fine.
“I’m sorry for making you worry. I know how to make the medicine now. I’m going to make it, Leon onii-chan, take care of Mother.”
Sophia ran out of the room without waiting for my answer.
Alice muttered something strange.
“What about garlic?”
“I’ve heard that garlic has can promote the discharge of arsenic. I’m not sure how effective it is but it’s worth a shot.”
“Oh…now that you mention it –”
Arsenic is abundant in nature. If you mine in the wrong area, it’s possible that arsenic can seep into the groundwater. Drinking water contaminated with arsenic would lead to chronic arsenic poisoning…but this can be prevented by eating garlic.
I then realized something and turned to Michelle.
“– Michelle, bring us garlic right away!”
We’ll use the garlic to absorb some of the arsenic in her body and the World Leaves to strengthen her body. This will definitely help, but — I looked over at Elyse.
She doesn’t look good and she’s slowly getting worse. She needs to keep vomiting. The poison is still running through her system.
We need to get everything out of her system, but…she’s barely conscious and can’t drink any more water. She won’t last if things stay like this.
I glanced over at Alice as a ridiculous idea formed in my mind.
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