“Oh, lass. Long time no see.”
When Maomao went to the medical office, the quack doctor with the loach moustache came to greet her. It must be her imagination that he looked like he was on the lookout for her, for some reason.
“To say long time no see is a bit…”
Hasn’t it been around three days since she last came here? Maomao had showed up that time because the quack doctor said that the paper supply from his family was coming in. She had shrewdly considered that if it goes well, she could get the remainders.
“Oh really? You used to come here every day. Haven’t you stopped coming by for a bit recently?”
The quack doctor said it forlornly, but the time she came every day was to clean the medical office. Even though he looked refreshed when they were done.
First off, it was true that her visits have decreased. Lately, she has been spending a lot of time chatting in the washing area. She usually only spoke to Shaoran. It must be because Consort Rouran’s palace lady, Shisui, had joined in with them as of late.
(She really is an incomprehensible girl.)
She had no idea what kind of person Consort Rouran is, but she thought that she must be quite a big-shot to employ such a palace lady. The girl mentioned that she had a bit of knowledge about medicine, though she wasn’t an expert as she only knew about simple doses.
In the beginning, when Maomao heard that the girl had knowledge of medicine, she subconsciously bent her brows, but she paid no heed to it now.
In the beginning, she thought that Shisui must be joining in with them frequently to listen to suspicious stories, but at any rate, this girl is too incomprehensible.
Even yesterday, she was chasing after a palace lady who was nearby to show her the cricket she caught.
She didn’t know anything about Consort Rouran, but at the very least, Shisui didn’t have interest in the mire of the inner palace. If there was something the girl would pay attention to, she would seem to be the type to observe an ant nest for days on end. The part where she wasn’t interested in the love affairs of inferiors was something Maomao could agree with.
“For now, have this.”
Maomao took out dried medicinal herbs from the washing basket. It was the things that were mentioned to have run out when she came by recently. Though he is a quack doctor, his title is pretty much a court physician. He boasted that he could personally make abdominal pain medicine at least. She hasn’t heard anything about other medicines. Maomao still was kind enough to not ask. She wanted to take the opportunity to get the leftovers.
The quack doctor accepted the medicinal herbs, then went to dig around the shelves and briskly started to prepare tea.
“Fufufu, I have good snacks today.”
The quack doctor prepared tea snacks as his thin moustache swung like it was dancing.
He doesn’t even have snacks for tea, Maomao thought, but the quack doctor looked like he was having fun for some reason. The snacks he just mentioned, wasn’t that kind of tea snacks, it was material for talk, Maomao thought.
Maomao kept silent and sat, holding in her mouth the blended tea that was poured. She stuffed her cheeks with roasted mochi that was seasoned with saltiness. The crunchy texture was tasty. Some green laver was added to give it a bit of flavour.
“What kind of snack is it?”
You have to tell me about the tea snacks you brought out at least, Maomao asked the quack doctor.
The quack doctor smiled in delight and cleared his throat with a cough.
“I heard an interesting story. I wonder if lass understands it.”
The quack doctor smiled awfully confidently as he started the story.
In a certain estate, there was a court physician and his three apprentices. The apprentices had the court physician as their teacher, but all in all, none of them were outstanding pupils. One studied diligently, one was as he is, and the other was unmotivated and a liar. Since the court physician’s position was bought with money, it could not be helped that he had these kinds of pupils.
The court physician, in regards to medicine, possessed wonderful knowledge. He never misdiagnosed, and he would not from hereafter either.
The diligent one hated mistakes and does not lie. The unmotivated one only ever lied. The last person mostly spoke the truth, but he occasionally makes mistakes.
One day, a terrible storm came upon the estate. The winds were strong; they could not go outside. During that, a certain incident occurred.
One of the apprentices hung down from the ceiling with a cord around his neck.
Everyone took him down in haste, but he had already stopped breathing.
The court physician did away with the body of the apprentice as a death by suffocation.
The remaining apprentice was in a frenzy, saying that a person cannot do such a thing alone, and flared up at the court physician. He shouted that that guy wasn’t the type to commit suicide.
The other person kept silent and watched the other person, but when he returned to the room, he confirmed with the court physician that, So he suffocated, before he left.
Everyone wanted to immediately leave the estate, but they could not leave because of the storm. Just like that, an evening passed, and the next day there was another court physician apprentice who hung his neck.
The surviving person asked the court physician. Why did he commit suicide?
While shaking his head, the court physician replied. He died from suffocation.
“Well then, herein lies the problem. Which pupil was the one who survived?”
Hmm. The quack doctor said as he blew out of his nose.
Maomao scratched the back of her head.
(There are a lot of parts omitted.)
The quack doctor must be asking the question without understanding it. Even if he knew the answer, she felt that he didn’t comprehend the details well enough.
Even so, it was a problem that doesn’t have anything that cannot be understood.
In this case, judging the other person on whether he was the liar or not, there, was important.
“Does the court physician lie?”
Seems he doesn’t know this prerequisite. In that case, Maomao changed her question.
“The court physician doesn’t misdiagnose, right?”
Unlike this quack doctor.
“That’s right. He would never.”
He emphasised that part. In that case, the answer was simple.
“Then, the one who killed the two people was the court physician, and the survivor would have to be the apprentice who was neither a liar nor an honest person, right?”
Seeing how he’s silent, it’s bulls-eye, Maomao thought.
“…How did you know?”
With a sulky expression, the quack doctor asked.
“It was weird from the very beginning.”
The main point of this story was this certain character. It was the court physician who was everyone’s teacher. He was known to the culprit from the part where he – being the person who doesn’t misdiagnose – said that it was a death from suffocation from the start.
Normally, death from hanging and constriction looks different. Maomao heard from her dad that people die from the weight of their entire body on their head. It was similar to hanging from a rope around the neck, but the way of dying is different.
From that, speaking of who was the apprentice who was in a frenzy, it was the student that wasn’t any of the two. If he was the student who only speaks of truth, he wouldn’t say that the answer of the teacher who doesn’t misdiagnose was wrong. If it was the liar and unmotivated student, he wouldn’t even be in a frenzy anyway.
And then, speaking of who is the other apprentice, it would have to be the diligent student. If he was the lying student, he wouldn’t deny the answer of the teacher who should be right.
And then, the student who died the next day was also the diligent student.
The honest student wouldn’t think of suicide, and the teacher also answered it was ‘death from suffocation’.
The teacher said ‘death from suffocation’, but he didn’t deny it was a suicide.
“To not lie only when autopsying, how difficult.”
Maomao said, and smoothly gulped down the rest of the tea.
As the quack doctor was going to ask himself a question, he turned his head.
Maomao, seeing him do that, as she put the remaining mochi pieces in her mouth, flipped through the medical book that was in the medical office.
She had thought to continue with passing time indolently like this for a short while.
“So you were in such a place.”
She heard a deep man’s voice that she was used to hearing. When she turned around, Gaoshun with his usual wrinkled brows was there.
Normally, this man who was somehow relieving, but this time the circumstances were a little different.
She pretended to sip from an empty cup as she held back her spontaneous jumpiness, calming her heart.
“What do you require of me?”
No, it’s fine if there’s nothing. It’s fine, she thought as she looked at Gaoshun, but it didn’t seem to be that convenient.
“Jinshi-sama has summoned for you.”
Has it finally come? Maomao slumped her shoulders.