Volume 9: Western Capital
Despite the fact that it was still spring, the sun blazed hotter than it did in the capital in midsummer. It was hell even inside the moving carriage, so it must be scorching hell for the people who were accompanying them on foot.
As Chue had said, the court physicians were gathered the moment they reached the western capital.
“Well, it’s more or less like this. I’ll be splitting all of you into three groups and have you on standby.”
Court Physician You had said the court physicians will be split up again and stationed at the palace. Maomao thought it would be the same arrangement as it was on the ship, but—
“Eh, I’m over here?” Tenyuu tilted his head. They were split up as Court Physician You with another high ranking court physician, then the rest of the court physicians. In other words, he was with the quack and Maomao.
“I was so sure that you would be with Court Physician Ri.” Maomao thought the same. The other high ranking court physician was apparently called “Ri”, but that name was commonplace. So common that you often call them with their first name to differentiate them. Rihaku is a good example.
“It’s a unanimous decision. You can be with Court Physician Ri too, but you can forget it until you can speak properly. It seems you were guilty of it many times during the voyage.”
It seems he had committed a faux pas on high officials who visited the medical office. Those in the palace Maomao’s group will be in charge of were apparently all of lower positions, so despite the high number of people, they could rest easy.
“You’re good enough with the practical side, right? You are weak at medicine dispensing, but only your surgical skill is a cut above the rest among the newcomers. I’ll have you teach what he is weak at.”
“….” Maomao snuck a look at the quack doctor.
“The likes of teaching, can I do it?” The quack was fidgeting.
“Then, I’ll be counting on you.” Tenyuu clapped Maomao’s shoulders.
“It’s, I thank you in advance.” Maomao stood in front of the quack doctor. The quack flushed crimson with embarrassment and hid behind her.
“Old man, pleased to meet you.”
“Umm, my pleasure.” The quack was totally being made light off, but he replied bashfully.
“Though the location has changed, the work remains the same. The work of a court physician is to examine patients, that is all! Each group will have a lower official to deliver news if there’s anything. For communication.”
An extremely easy to understand boss. As the location has changed, she thought a person who could adapt had been selected, but doesn’t he have the atmosphere of a local?
“And so, shall we get a move on?” Tenyuu carried the luggage. The place Maomao’s group was stationed at, was Gyoku’en’s villa. There was also a main residence and a public hall. Three houses—with two being Gyoku’en’s, does it mean that the man was that powerful in the western capital? The public hall and the main residence were next door to each other. Only the villa was a five-minute walk away,
Currently, Maomao’s group was in one of the rooms of the main residence. It seems they were given a tasteful guestroom to use as a medical office.
Either way, it was in the heart of the western capital, facing the main street. The fact that they currently couldn’t feel the hustle and bustle of outside, was probably due to the sheer size of the main residence. It was enclosed with an outer wall and trees to block out the din.
Alongside the three people in Maomao’s group, there was one messenger. The four of them was guided by a man who seemed to be a local.
“How exciting.” If the quack still had his moustache, it would probably be jittering about. Although the eunuch is timid, he currently seemed excited over the hubbub of the western capital.
Tenyuu himself was also moving busily. However, he had no change in expression. Rather than having fun, it looked like he was appraising things.
(This guy is hard to grasp.)
Maomao had no idea what he was thinking. She just knew that he really gets into interesting matters. If she understood what Tenyuu’s interesting was, she could then imagine how he would act, but she couldn’t understand what that interesting was.
At the entrance of the main residence, Tenyuu tilted his head.
She wondered what was up. Turns out there was a familiar face at the entranceway. That person also seemed to have noticed, and was approaching Maomao’s group.
“Long time no see.”
Lowering his head reverently, was Rikuson, the weirdo tactician’s former adjutant. He was like a gentle man as usual, but he had more of a suntan compared to before. It must be due to the harsh sunlight of the western capital. He had two people accompanying him; they were carrying document-like things.
“Long time no see.”
“It’s been a while.”
Tenyuu responded alongside Maomao. Only the quack was looking at Maomao’s face, imploring, “Who is this person?”
(Tenyuu’s acquaintance, huh.)
Although he is a court physician apprentice, he has been employed longer than Maomao. With the medical office so close to the military grounds, it wouldn’t be odd for the two of them to be acquainted.
Maomao glanced at Tenyuu. He said his greetings, but he didn’t seem particularly interested. The quack as well, on top of not being acquainted, was shy of strangers. They won’t pass through at this rate, so Maomao had no choice but to speak.
“This here is Court Physician-sama. I came to the western capital as his assistant this time.”
“Court Physician-sama?” Rikuson tilted his head, looking at the quack.
(Umm, the quack’s name is…)
She forgot again. If she remembered correctly, it was Gu’en. He had said it was Gu’en.
When she was about to speak, Tenyuu stepped forward.
“He’s famous, you know. You’d know if I tell you that he’s the high ranking court physician who has been in the inner palace for many years, right?”
“Ahh, is this person the one?” Rikuson clapped his hands.
Maomao was confused for a second, then realised Tenyuu’s intention.
(The quack is dad’s body double.)
He was being treated like so.
Did Tenyuu also reach the same conclusion as Maomao? It was preferable for the eunuch court physician to been seen as Ruomen rather than Gu’en here.
And there was no way Rikuson wouldn’t know of the weirdo tactician’s uncle, Ruomen. From Tenyuu’s hinting, he must have understood that the quack was currently the only court physician in the inner palace.
(We don’t know where there are eyes and ears.)
They may be in the same country, but the western capital can be considered strange land. More importantly, Rikuson’s entourage all seem to be people from the western capital. They have to be careful with their words.
When Maomao realised her own blunder, Tenyuu didn’t seem like he was in the mood to speak.
Maomao didn’t have anything worth talking about too, so she decided to end it here. “Rikuson-sama seems busy. My apologies for taking up your time.”
“No, I was returning from an excursion. I’d feel down if I’m always cooped up in my office, so I go outside once in a while.”
He was smiling, but his sleeves were muddy. Though it was drying, the mud was originally dark, the colour of fertiliser.
(Did he go out to the fields?)
The western capital is dry. There are no puddles on the roadside. Even if there were, they would be a more whitish innutritious colour. If fertilised black soil were stuck on him, it would have to be from watered fields at least.
If so, it would mean that he was returning from a distant place. It was better to think that he likely came back at the same time as Maomao’s group came from the capital rather than a coincidental meeting.
“Then, I’ll see you again. If we chat for too long, my former boss’ eyes will be on us.”
It seems Rikuson still wanted to say something more, but he was probably also busy. Tenyuu chuckled, knowing who the former boss referred to.
Only the quack couldn’t get a word into the conversation. He looked lonely from start to finish. It can’t be helped, so she had to fill him in on the identity of the man called RIkuson along the way.
Maomao, who had a lot to think about, recalled Court Physician You’s words.
(Court physicians can only do a court physician’s work.)
So, pharmacists can only do a pharmacist’s work.