Chapter 53 – The Sick Old Woman

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Author: Tsunose Bun Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3024 characters
Translator: Jiro English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1408 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

“Actually, my wife is sick. In order to cure her I need a herb that only grows deep in the forest. Please, I beg of you. Could you go and get it for me?”

After the old man requested their assistance, Merc and Totoara exchanged another glance.
 
They couldn’t seem to understand what the old man was getting at.

“Excuse me sir, but are you talking about that forest over there?”

Merc asked, pointing to the thick and overgrown forest to her right. The old man clasped his hands and nodded repeatedly as soon as she did.

“That’s the one! The herb that can help my wife is in there. Please, I beg of you. Could you go pick it up for me?!”

Totoara went to hide behind Merc after being pressured by the man’s frantic plea.

What an unreliable senior.

“Excuse me sir, but does your wife live with you? Also, when was it that she fell ill?”
“W-We both live in this house. It was three days ago that those annoying blue markings started appearing on my wife’s body.”
“Blue markings… Could you let me meet her?”
“O-Of course…”

As he entered the house, the man said. Merc was going to follow him in, but Totoara pulled her sleeve just as she was about to step forward.

“What is it?”
“Are you really planning to help them? This village just doesn’t feel right. That old man is also suspicious… Furthermore, there’s no assurance that we won’t catch his wife’s illness.”

Totoara said with a serious look in her eyes. Her counsel was very sound. Everything was done to keep Merc safe.

However…

“There’s a sick person right in front of me. And I was also asked to help. It’s a rule of mine not to turn a blind eye to such things.”

The mentality that Merc had developed in the elf village for sick and injured people did not enable her to choose to retreat here.
 
She couldn’t make a different decision until she knew the patient’s condition.

“What?! Y-You idiot! Are you trying to act cool?! I’ll have you know that you’re being really lame right now! We might not get to Logholt in time!”
“That might be so. However, you are free to wait for me if you want. You are also free to go to Logholt. Depending on the situation I might take a while.”
“Urgh…”

Totoara moaned, unable to say anything further after hearing Merc’s indifferent tone.
 
Merc merely shrugged her shoulders and followed the elderly man inside after their brief exchange.

“I’m coming in.”
“Miss adventurer, she’s here.”

The old man said, inviting Merc to one of the rooms. As Merc entered the room she saw an old woman lying on a plain bed. The old woman in front of her was most likely the old man’s wife.

“Miss adventurer, please do not get any closer.”

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The old man said just as Merc was about to approach his wife.

“You might get it as well. And this is a lethal illness that spreads fast. We should get that herb as soon as possible.”
“But if I don’t check your wife’s condition, I won’t know what the cause of the illness is.”
“The cause of the illness?”

The old man asked in a stunned manner. However, he quickly shook his surprise off and moved his head sideways.

“We don’t need to know that. As long as we get that herb my wife will be alright. Please, help us.”
“Sir, how do you know that? How do you know that your wife will get better if we have that herb? Do you know what this illness is? If you do, I would like you to tell me. If you don’t, I am afraid that I will be unable to help.”
“I see…”

Merck’s resolute attitude caused the old man to fall into thought, and he ultimately slumped his shoulders, as if he had given up.

“Fine. I will explain briefly. My wife’s illness is known as the Zelronan Illness1.”
“Zelronan Illness you say…”
“That’s right. Numerous blue markings appear on a person’s body at random and spread throughout the body over time. They gradually cover the entire body. At that stage, the diseased person is very contagious. It is a terrifying illness that can lead to death.”
“……”
“Around ten years ago, someone in this town became ill with the Zelronan Illness. Then, suddenly, the entire village became ill, and everyone else perished save us.”
“How did you survive?”
“My wife and I were just lucky. The blue leafed flower that we discovered by chance in the forest proved to be capable of curing the Zelronan Illness. By grinding it and drinking it we were able to stay alive. However, it was all too late for the others…”

A dreadful disease had swept over the village, killing most of the people, leaving this couple. The old man’s tale sounded convincing.
 
It also explained why the village had devolved into this state.

That is, if it really is true…

When confronted with the old man in front of her who lamented his lack of strength, Merc just had one thought…

What nonsense…

The man in front of Merc weakened swiftly, almost collapsing as he struggled to keep himself upright. Merc, on the other hand, didn’t feel anything anymore.

“Recently, various powerful Magic Beasts and Cha Gai2 began appearing around the village. So, I cannot go into the forest. Please, miss adventurer! Please, help me save my…”
“Ahh… I’m such an idiot.”
“M-Miss adventurer?”

Merc couldn’t bear to listen to any more of this nonsense.
 
Merc merely sighed in regret as Totoara’s prior advice flashed across her mind. After that she pushed the man aside and got closer to his wife.

“Heal.”

Merc muttered. She was now near enough to see the woman’s blue markings for the first time. As the light engulfed the elderly woman’s body, she opened her eyes wide in surprise and met Merc’s stare.

“How do you feel, ma’am? My spell just now should have healed you completely.”
“What? O-Oh, yea… I’m better. Ahahaha.”

The elderly woman smiled vaguely as she realized Merc had cast a spell to heal her.

Surprisingly, the blue paint markings all over the woman’s body remained even after Merc had healed her.

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“That’s great. In that case I’ll be leaving.”

Merc said with a smile as she turned around to leave.

“P-Please wait!”
“Is there something else?”

Just as Merc was about to leave the room, she turned around to stare at the old man. When confronted with Merc’s response, the old man could only smile.

“A-Are you leaving?”
“Yes.”
“The bridge, which is a two or three-day walk from the village, has fallen due to its age. It may take a little longer, but I recommend that you take a short detour. It will be faster.”
“Is that so… Well, thank you.”

Merc said with a slight nod and turned around to leave. This time without stopping. The old couple watched her depart with puzzled expressions on their faces, but Merc didn’t care.

Zelronan Illness my a̲s̲s̲. Zelronan Illness is not contagious!

The Zelronan Illness had flashed across Merc’s mind the minute she’d heard the old man mention blue markings.

The Zelronan Illness was something a person was born with. The only reason Merc had entered the house without hesitation was because she was aware of that fact.

However, upon entering, Merc had been forced to listen to the old man’s absurd narrative about how the Zelronan Illness was contagious and about the magical blue herb that might cure it.
 
In the end, when Merc inspected the elderly woman’s body, she had discovered that the blue marks were nothing more than blue paint. This also explained why the old man had not allowed her to approach his wife.

“Merc? What happened? Why are you making that face?”

When Totoara saw Merc leave the house with a furious expression, she asked.

So, she waited for me.

“It’s nothing. It’s just as you said. It was a misunderstanding on my part. Let’s go.”
“What? But what happened with the wife…”
“She’s healed. You don’t need to worry.”
“I see…”

Totoara proceeded to follow Merc, who silently moved forward, with a puzzled expression on her face.

She still had a lot of questions she wanted to ask, but she decided not to.



References

  1. TL/N: Zelronan is the name the author gave to the illness, and it can be translated to Blue Markings’ Illness. I am wondering whether to keep it as Zelronan or use Blue Markings’ Illness since further down the road there is an illness called the Black Markings’ Illness and the readers might not catch up to the connection if I use Zelronan. So, another insight on which translation I should use would be greatly appreciated.
  2. TL/N: As stated before a Gai is a type of monster that appears in this world. Apparently, there are various kinds of Gai as shown here. The Cha part here means dog. So, this must be some dog like monster, although, it is not explained yet. (there is more information on the Gai in the following chapters)

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