Neither Zack Zaikaz or adventurer Baghnatt was aware.
How Eda came running and managed to cast <Purification> in time.
Blood gushed out of the headless Aterna's neck, creating a pool of blood on and around Zack's body, but she was the sole casualty, the other two lives were not in any danger.
Let alone danger, Zack's and Baghnatt's states were restored back without any wound or poison left in their systems after getting <Purification> cast on them. Nevertheless Riol fetched two green potions, sprinkled one on Zack and had Baghnatt drink another as a precaution.
Zack was moved to the bed Shira used. Riol moved back to the townlord's mansion, but Norma retracted her permission to let the group depart on a long journey.
The departure got postponed.
Once things have been sorted out to a point, the main members of the group gathered at town lord's mansion parlor.
"Why would Aterna-dono tried to kill fa-... Zack-dono."
It was knight Jakof who answered Riol's whispered query.
"Riol-sama. The one who murdered Aterna's parents and deprived her off their fortune was none other than Zack-dono."
"However, it appears Zack-dono made some kind of promise to her parents then and took up the mantle of raising her himself."
"Aterna grew up to be an excellent medical practitioner. She should have been unaware about the fact that Zack-sama was her parents' murderer. Who could have believed she was harboring such thoughts all this time. But I do not understand. Aterna-dono was the one person most devoted to Zack-dono's treatment."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Everyone's gazes gathered at Eda who murmured that.
"Eh? Eh? Uh well, I just heard that from Norma-san, you see. Right, right?"
Looks like she reverts to her real character when she's panicking. Norma who got brought up here nodded, 'right'.
"A medic will absolutely never make an attempt to kill or do a malpractice on a patient they're currently treating. It's simply how us medics are."
"Then why did she keep treating fa-...Zack-dono's over the years. She could have refused to treat him from the start."
"I'm not sure about that myself. She might be trying to repay her debt, or she was looking for a chance to exact her revenge, or maybe there were other reasons, I lack information to weigh in on the matter."
"Norma-dono. Please tell me one thing."
"Ask away, Jakof-sama."
"Aterna was the one who declared Zack-dono illness had progressed beyond being curable and to put him in a <Suspended Animation> state. Many people were against the idea but none of their proposed methods worked, and in the end the <Suspended Animation> medicine was prescribed. Was that truly the optimal step in the treatment?"
"It's not a problem of being optimal or not, but since you didn't have either <God Cure> or <Purification> that might have been the sole path you could pick under the circumstance. But, when did he start taking <Suspended Animation> medicine again?"
"It was first given in month two this year."
"You mentioned how his condition worsened on month nine last year, and Eda's <Purification> was made public on the 17th of month nine last year. Did the possibility of relying on her <Purification> never cross your mind?"
Knight Jakof looked at Riol before replying.
"That's, err. There were voices raising that point indeed, but this town's lord and ours had always been at odds with each other. Some also believed that Zack-dono wouldn't have been willing to owe a huge debt to Vouka had he been well."
Norma got lost in thought for a while before she spoke again.
"<Suspended Animation> might have been the last resort necessary to keep him alive. But putting such a deep <Suspended Animation> state on Zack-sama when his strength had been sapped that low would be."
"Would be, what."
"Riol-sama. It would be a sleep he cannot ever wake up from. In fact, I don't believe any <Purification> other than Eda's would have been capable of reviving him."
Riol was taken aback.
"Perhaps that was the last bit act of revenge she could muster up in her continued and undivided effort to treat Zack-sama. No one can know for sure though."
"But in the end Aterna tried to kill fa-...Zack-dono with a poisonous knife! Isn't that against her calling as a medic!"
"Yes. She chose to get her revenge at the very last crossroad. She likely would never treat anyone else had she managed to kill Zack-sama. Or perhaps..."
Norma never finished her words.
"But she could never bring herself to feign treating Zack-sama while actually slowly killing him. Also, the bodyguard would have never suspected her if she didn't make her attempt obvious by taking out a knife. However, treatment is treatment. Assassination is assassination. She failed to completely separate those two opposing ideas in her mind."
Zack Zaikaz's condition made a surprising progress that day, and by his order, the entourage was to leave Vouka the day after, on the 17th of month three.
Zack expressed his gratitude with money. Namely, the originally one large coin payment for Eda became one platinum coin, and as a sign of gratitude as well as apology to Vouka town lord, Crimus Ulban, Zack also presented one platinum coin to him.