Tap, tap, I knocked on the door. I heard the maid Maya replying “yes?” from inside.
“Excuse me, Elise-dono.”
A smile bloomed just like a flower on Elise’s face as she called out my name. Today as well she was resting on her bed with the window closed, and her complexion didn’t seem well. It seems that she’s been having more seizures again recently, and she’s staying bedridden with a weak body.
“I’m glad that you’ve been visiting so often lately.”
“Not at all…… I just come by whenever I’m free. But, well, I don’t mind coming to visit Elise-dono once in a while, although this time I have another reason for seeing you.”
Elise’s eyes were round, and she closed her eyelids ambiguously. She has an innocent smile, but it also seems like she’s given up. It’s definitely a hard thing to accept, having your illness get worse again when you’ve gotten better before. Although, her symptoms should still be lighter now than when she first came to my domain……
“Elise-dono, I have something I would like to give to you.”
“Yes? What is it?”
As she tilted her head, when she saw the inscrutable person whose gender and age were both a mystery dressed in white behind me, her eyes became like round saucers in astonishment.
“……Oh, is this the girl?”
Elise glanced over very interestedly at Priest Faris’ veil, and behind Priest Faris, Ratoka nonchalantly came in as well.
“This person here, is Priest Faris. Priest Faris is a licensed national doctor, so I troubled this person to come see you today. Elise-dono, I also informed your father and uncle in advance already, so please rest assured.”
At the words licensed national doctor, Elise’s mouth went wide agape and a small gasp escaped from her.
National doctors are extremely rare. The test to become one requires much medical knowledge, and the high test fee narrows the candidates down even fewer, and of the doctors that do take the test, fewer than half will pass.
Basically, the national doctor’s license program was launched as a qualification to become a royal physician, and it’s basically not needed at the local level. As they’re required to handle the controlled drugs, their number will probably increase in the future, but currently there’s fewer than 50 licensed national doctors.
“It seems to be forest syndrome. Would it be alright to ask you some questions about your illness?”
“Ahh…… Of course.”
Elise seemed confused at everything that happened so suddenly, but seeing me nod at her affirmatively, she was able to relax.
“I’ll be in your care.”
Priest Faris inquired about how frequent her coughing was, how serious her seizures were, and when she would have them. Elise answered most of the questions, and occasionally her maid Maya would add some details as well.
After Priest Faris finished the medical diagnosis, she wrote a medical permit that’s sort of like a prescription and handed it to me, giving her permission for Feria to burn the Renvia beeswax candle for fifteen minutes every day, in order to reduce her seizures and telling her to burn it especially during the seizures. As I took the permit, I asked “will this be alright?”
“Repeat attacks are common with forest syndrome seizures. If your mind and body are weak, coughing will increase even if there are no cotton butterflies around anymore. Symptoms are also dependent on age, so they should lighten as she gets older and her body matures, so please make sure to keep a positive state of mind as much as possible.”
As expected of a holy person, I’m impressed that she can say such things as well. Just hearing this will convey a sense of relief.
“It’ll be alright, while the royal capital area does have more cypress trees than Kaldia does, cotton butterflies almost never fly near the noble district and the noble school. Most of the trees are basically outside the huge city. Your symptoms won’t worsen if you come to the royal capital.”
Pat pat, Priest Faris even patted Elise’s shoulder as if to comfort her, while Ratoka and I listened silently.
It was only recently that I noticed Elise’s seizures would become more severe whenever she had to leave Kaldia. Since she’s about to turn thirteen years old, she’s going to be required to attend noble school next spring. I was worried about her having to leave this domain that’s beneficial for her recuperation, and of course she’ll have more pain as well if her seizures increase. And according to Ratoka, Elise was more attached to life in Kaldia than I believed.
“……Elise-dono. In the royal capital, it’ll be easier to meet with your father and uncle. I’ll also being living there during each summer. I believe that the winters in Sherstok were colder than Kaldia’s to begin with, so you should be able to handle the royal capital’s weather.”
Priest Faris slipped out of the room without a sound. I walked up to Elise’s bedside near her pillow, to fill in the empty space where Priest Faris just was.
Thirteen years old. In Arxia, this age means you’re almost an adult, and many laws will treat you equal to adults. However, this girl in front of me still only thinks that I’m an unreliable child.
At this moment, I saw for the first time an expression from Elise that seemed like she was about to cry. This is despite the fact that she’s already been in Kaldia for three and a half years now.
Elise would rarely let her anxiety show, because she didn’t want to worry her family. ……Even though she has a great relationship with her affectionate family, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t suffer. Maybe it’s impossible for someone like me who killed her own family personally to completely empathize with her, but it’s not a good idea for me to ignore emotions I can’t understand.
My world is such a heavy one to bear. Pain and suffering are so close to me, much more so than in the world of the memories left to me.
“……In winter, I probably won’t be able to visit this domain anymore?”
To Elise’s tiny little desire, I could only shake my head and answer:
“I’m afraid not.”
Is that so, was her reply as her shoulders drooped in disappointment. Honestly, I wanted to say that I didn’t mind if she came over whenever she liked. Even though I haven’t visited her all that much, having a gentle, kind-hearted girl close to me where I can visit her any time I want, it’s a wonderful healing experience for my heart.
However, it won’t come true anymore. There’s a high chance that she won’t ever visit Kaldia again in her lifetime.
A formal protest has arrived in Arxia from the Planates Dukedom regarding the treatment of Prince Albert. When Prince Albert was forced into the monastery, it basically meant that he lost the right to attend noble school. For being born a noble, just what type of unfair treatment is it that he isn’t able to go the noble school that’s required by law to attend, this sort of protest.
The protest was a strong condemnation, and sharply criticized Arxia for the insult to the Planates bloodline. The disappearance of the Rindarl Kingdom could now happen at any moment.
It’s a very dangerous situation, with the only potentially friendly country of Planates in the future Rindarl Union making a formal protest to us at this timing right before the Rindarl Union will be formed.
……Everyone is concerned about the relationship with the neighboring country. Especially when I was at the meeting of the Jugfena region domains earlier, our domains made plans to increase our military armaments and prepared for the possible outbreak of war.
I kept all of these matters to myself, and gently presented the box of beeswax I had in my hand to Elise.
“This is what I was referring to earlier when I said I have something to give to you. I’ll be really happy if you accept it.”
“A type of beeswax that’s also a medicine to treat forest syndrome. You must follow the law and Priest Faris’s instructions when using it, but there should be a beneficial effect for your seizures.”
Elise looked at the box placed on her knee with a look of amazement. Of course, medicine is rather expensive in Arxia. And for the Renvia beeswax which is now a controlled medicine, it’s probably going to be one of the most expensive to prescribe.
“Whenever you’re feeling better, please come and visit my summer townhouse in the capital. It’s a bit of a small, ramshackle house, but…… you’re welcome anytime.”