Not long after we had left Elyse’s room, Sophia was still doing her best to hold back her tears.
Considering what just happened with her mother, that’s understandable. But that is also why I can’t let Sophia stay like this.
If we return to the others like this, they’ll be worried about her. That’s why I need to calm her down before we go back.
I grabbed hold of Sophia’s hand and walked down the corridor.
I spoke with the maid who was waiting at the entrance and she allowed us to take a short break in the dining room. I asked the maid to get us a drink and did my best to comfort Sophia by gently stroking her head.
“Sophia, you don’t need to feel so bad.”
“You weren’t able to make up this time, but you can still try again.”
“But she doesn’t want me to come back. She told me I’m not even a member of the Sfir family anymore.”
“That’s true…. I’m sure what she said was hard for you to hear, but she was worried about you. That’s why, even though she said those things, I don’t think she hates you.”
This is just my own assumption but I think that Elyse trying to keep Sophia away is different than Elyse hating Sophia.
She even said it was disrespectful of Sophia to try to make up with her. In other words, she was telling Sophia to value me more than her.
Of course, I could be completely wrong as well.
“Or did you read her feelings?”
I thought this may be the case, but Sophia shook her head.
“I told Mother that I couldn’t use it and I didn’t want to deceive her.”
It may have been better if she had used it, but…I can understand the feeling of not wanting to lie to your family. Besides, if she were to lie in order to reconcile with her mother, she’d have a guilty conscience right from the start of their new relationship.
This time, for sure, it was better that she didn’t use her ability.
Nevertheless, if she can’t use her ability…where do we go from here? Of course, I don’t plan on giving up. It’s just I’m not sure how to proceed without her ability.
While I was thinking about this, Eric entered the dining room. Claire and Alice followed shortly after him.
“Eric, have you finished your discussion?”
“Yeah, it went well. As for you…was it that bad?”
“She wants Sophia to forget about her and focus on her new family.”
“Just as I thought….”
“Elyse didn’t appear to be doing well….”
Eric seemed unwilling to answer. But after Sophia, Alice, and Claire turned to hear his answer, he knew he had to respond.
“Honestly…she’s suffering from a severe illness. I can’t know for sure but it seems like she’ll never recover.”
“That — that has to be a lie…right?”
Sophia stood up and charged up to Eric. But as she saw Eric slowly shake his head, all of the energy left her body and she collapsed to the ground.
Claire crouched down next to her and embraced her limp body.
I also tried to run up to her side, but Claire gave me a look that told me she could handle this.
I think she’s trying to tell me that I should speak with Eric. I gave Claire a slight nod and turned my focus to him.
“What are the symptoms of her disease? Alice and I have some knowledge of disease so we may be able to help.”
It’s been nearly ten years since the influenza outbreak. I haven’t learned much about medicine since then, but Alice has increased her knowledge about the medicine of this world. This, combined with the knowledge from her previous life, may even make penicillin possible to make.
However, we have yet to make it and penicillin isn’t effective against all types of diseases.
Both Alice and I, and the rest of our family, suffered from an incurable disease in our previous lives. Though, I doubt Elyse is suffering from a disease that unique. If there’s a way we can help I want to do it.
“The disease is called…I believe it is…tuberculosis –”
A cold sweat ran down my neck.
A severe illness that can easily be spread through the air by coughing or sneezing.
More importantly, a disease that penicillin won’t be able to cure.
We’ll need to quarantine Elyse.
“Umm…the full name is Tuberculosis Magical Power Conversion Inhibitor.”
Eric’s continuation just confused me.
“Tuberculosis…Magical Power Conversion Inhibitor…what is that? Isn’t it just an infectious disease?”
“Infectious? I’m not sure what that is. It’s been almost four years since my mother contracted the disease and I’ve never heard that term from any caretaker or doctor.”
“Is that so….”
Even though tuberculosis is an infectious disease, someone that becomes infected with it may show no symptoms for quite some time, but…would it really take more than two years for symptoms to appear? And if it hasn’t spread to anyone, is this tuberculosis completely unrelated to the original disease?
“Umm…so what kind of disease is it exactly?”
“I don’t know anything specific about it, but I had a doctor describe it to me. It decreases the ability of the body to convert magical power into mana. As time goes on, the dormant mana in the body gradually decreases.”
“Their mana decreases…?”
I glanced over to Alice to confirm that such a disease actually exists.
“I’ve never heard of this exact disease, but if the mana in your body is unable to replenish naturally, your body will slowly fall apart.”
If Alice believes so then this disease must be real. Now the problem becomes…and I glanced over at Eric.
“Excuse me, can that doctor be trusted?”
“Of course. That doctor has served my family for years and my father placed great trust in them. Besides that…after we lost Father, this doctor stayed with my mother and supported her until she was able to live on her own.”
I see. If it’s a doctor that his family has trusted for years, the likelihood that the doctor is trying to extort money out of them is low.
So this disease isn’t infectious like the tuberculosis I know, which is good because we won’t have to worry about a pandemic. It’s surprising for a fantasy disease to have the same name as one from Earth.
If the objective is to cure a fantasy disease, then the obvious choice would be white magic. But those that can use recovery magic are rare on this continent.
Actually, although white magic can heal wounds, it doesn’t appear capable of curing diseases.
These are just Alice’s words, but white magic appears to activate and somehow supercharge the cells, accelerating the healing of a wound. However, this would have a negative impact on a virus and lead to the disease developing at an accelerated rate.
In other words, we can’t rely on magic here. We need to find another way….
“Is there nothing that can be done? If this disease decreases the body’s natural magical power conversion rate, couldn’t Elyse just train herself to consciously convert magical power into mana?”
“That seems impossible as well. The doctor told me that the disease not only affects the body’s ability to naturally convert magical power but also reduces its ability to convert magical power by other means. For the time being, the doctors have developed a medicine to keep her from growing any worse.”
“So…they can maintain her current state but they can’t cure her?”
“Yes, well…the cure for her illness does actually exist.”
“Then why — !”
My words were quickly cut off by Eric.
“The cure does exist but some of the ingredients are incredibly rare.”
“They’re incredibly rare? What exactly are they?”
“First off, we’ll need the liver of the Lyk Skull Bear and the claws of an Earth Dragon. These ingredients alone are rare but not impossible to find. It’s the final ingredient that I think will be impossible to obtain.”
Eric had clearly given up on creating the cure.
The Sfir family is the same rank as our family. Their power may have declined over the past few years, but they’ve begun to rebuild and are slowly starting to regain their lost power.
A material that the Sfir family can’t obtain must be unbelievably rare.
But they can’t save Elyse without it. If they can’t save Elyse, Sophia will become increasingly sad. So, even if it’s difficult to obtain, I want to do it.
With this determination in my heart, I asked for the name of the rare ingredient.
“A material that is said to be the rarest in the world — a leaf from The World Tree.”
It was a name that I had actually heard somewhere before. I looked at Eric in disbelief.
Eric mistook this reaction for despair and looked apologetic.
“I’m sorry that there’s nothing you can do, but I’m sure you can understand why this cure is impossible to create.
“No, there shouldn’t be any problems.”
“…what are you talking about? It’s a leaf from The World Tree. Even if you have connections with the Elf tribe, I’ve heard it’s impossible to obtain. It’s the rarest material on the planet.”
I looked over at Alice to see her sticking her tongue out at me. Alice’s lack of self-restraint was showcased once more, but this time it would save Elyse’s life.
Eric seemed to be able to figure out what I meant based off of our interaction.
“No way. She can get it?”
“It’s possible…. She actually planted a World Tree behind our school.”
“If we go to the academy, we’ll have all the leaves we could possibly need.”
Eric looked as if he may pass out.