18-25. Shooting Stars (2)
※It goes without saying, this is a work of fiction.
Any individuals, organizations or infectious diseases depicted bear no relation to reality.
A temporary hospital in Norooku Kingdom is the very picture of a battlefield.
"--Doc! Grev-san the stone dealer has started vomiting."
"Dammit, guess Miasma Poisoning antidote's no good."
Scale-wise, this novel disease has obliterated two remote villages, even this Noromos town is seeing a record number of death due to it.
"Common Cold, Forest Fever, Miasma Poisoning, Goblin Sickness, Apetear Sickness... the symptoms are all similar with every single one of those illness, yet this is none of them. Just what cure should we administer for this!"
The doctor flung the sense of helplessness and irritation swallowing him onto a desk in the waiting room.
As the early symptoms resemble that of a common epidemic disease in Norooku Kingdom known as Forest Fever, they thought it was Forest Fever or a variant of it at first.
"Right, what about the well maker? Is he doing well? That patient was nearing his limit."
"He's still maintaining the lull state. The symptoms haven't receded but they are not getting worse either."
(...What's the meaning of this? The scarce Miasma drug had no effect, yet the dewormer a nurse prescribed by mistake worked?）
The doctor furrowed his brows after hearing his assistant's report.
(...No that can't be right. It must have been the work of that revised Forest Fever drug prescribed before the dewormer.)
"Use the revised Forest Fever drug we used on the well maker to young patients with enough strength."
"We only have five of that drug left..."
"The selection is yours to take."
The fainthearted assistant stood in shock with a pale face.
(Triage is too much for her huh...)
"I'm revising my directive. Use the drug starting on those nearest to adult age."
"I understand. We will get to it right away."
"Also, increase production of this revised drug!"
The assistant ran out of the waiting room.
"Director, may I have your time?"
A priest of Saga Empire who had come from the adjacent Saga Empire to help with the treatment effort came in.
"Priest-sama! How did it go with the holy magic!"
"Do calm down, director."
The priest stopped the almost jumping doctor with a raised hand.
"I'll get straight to the result. The patient made a complete recovery by the use of advanced level healing spell."
"Is that true!"
The overworked emaciated looking doctor brightened up to hear good news after all this time.
"But even I can only manage three cast of advanced level healing magic a day."
"--W-what about Mid-level?"
"It relieved the symptoms but only temporarily."
Of course this town, Noromos has plenty of priests.
But there's not a single virtuous clergy capable of advanced level healing magic.
Nay, there was in fact one, but he contracted the disease early when it was only thought as a Forest Fever and left this world.
"Thrice a day may be a fruitless endeavor but it is better than nothing."
"Thank you very much, priest-sama."
"Save your gratitude. We should make preparations for the treatment as soon as possible."
"Also, collect as many mana recovery potions as you can, it should help raise the number further per day."
"But doing that would put a burden on your--"
"It matters not. These old bones haven't got much left in this world anyway. Using it up for the sake of these youngsters' future would be Lord's will."
The doctor bowed deeply at the back of the priest as he left the room.
Taking excessive mana recovery potions harms one's body, a common sense even among doctors.
An elderly priest doing that would shorten his life--.
The assistant noisily barged into the silent waiting room.
"Doctor! We've received a report from the capital's dispensary!"
The doctor quickly ran through the report.
"There's no new development."
"The bigshots at Shiga Kingdom won't be much help will they."
"Don't say that. From what a friend told me, even ministers and nobles aren't allowed to leave the capital."
"Do you mean the disease has reached the capital too?"
The doctor nodded to the assistant.
Many people have left this town of Noromos for capital to escape the disease.
"This goes for high ranking priests capable of advanced level healing spells as well. It would be great if Shiga Kingdom could at least provide some Panaceas for us..."
Doctor shrugged his shoulders as he muttered.
A sound of something breaking disrupted the gloomy air.
"--Please stop it! This is a temporary hospital!"
"That was Nurse Chururu's voice!"
Tumultuous noises could be hear from the temporary hospital's hall.
"Let's head there."
The assistant stopped the doctor as he was about to head out.
"That could be Forest Fever Fundamentalists."
"What the heck is that?"
The doctor looked displeased as he listened.
"There's no such thing as a novel disease. The patients are just sick from Forest Fever, or so this group believes."
"How the heck are these patients dying while vomiting blood if it were Forest Fever!"
"I understand. It's what this group wishes to believe. They think the patients are dying because of older style treatment. They've been telling the townspeople that we, medical people, did all this to fill our pockets."
"What a pesky group."
"They're dangerous. Doctor, you should stay here. I'll go call the guard and--"
As the assistant was speaking the door to the room got broken open before hoodlums in bloodstained clothes broke in.
It was humans themselves who would stand in the way of dealing with this disease.
As we arrived at Norooku Kingdom, we changed into our disguises before contacting the authority.
Wearing the specially made void space suits of course.
Though I think it's not as striking as a plague mask, the sight of an inverted goldfish bowl wrapping your head is still a surreal one.
The void space pilot suits are skintight so we could hide them with robes and coats, but there's nothing we can do with the helmets.
"Umu, I have undertaken a request of Princess Mitia. This is the written notice."
I asked for one from princess Mitia before departing here since I knew we would get here first.
"Epidemic expert? Sounds shady--and your strange clothes are then due to that?"
"Umu, do forgive our unusual attires. In our school of belief, these clothes are a necessity during investigations."
A man who seemed to be a minister replied back, "I see", then he ordered a chamberlain to lead us to the place where the patients are being treated.
I thought the minister would just shoo us away seeing the "Can't trust them", "You damn sham" looks on his face, yet he's giving us a preferential treatment, makes senses as it's the biggest issue in the kingdom right now.
"We're leaving the capital?"
"Indeed we are, we shall be heading for Noromos town. The patients have been gathered in the suburbs there."
"A quarantine space huh."
"Yes as we must not let this disease spread further in the capital."
From Map Search, there are several people afflicted by [Novel Disease] in the capital already.
Quarantining them would be best here, but me asking them to do that now would just meet with an opposition.
I should have made some sort of detector magic tool.
As I was ruminating that, I could hear a strange voice from outside our carriage.
"This novel disease thing is a big fat lie!"
"Don't be deceived by those medical industry folk's ploy to fake Forest Fever!"
Peeking outside the window, I saw a group of people from all social class gathering.
There were elderly and even young people that haven't come of age.
"Please pay them no heed."
"--And those are?"
"Conspiracy theorists. Forest Fever is a common epidemic disease around these parts, and this novel disease shares similar symptoms with it during early stage."
Their excessive fear of this novel disease makes these people believe that it's not a novel disease at all, but a common cold, and this is all a ploy to sell medicine by evil nobles and medical industry.
"Is that true?"
"Of course not. Besides, those who take the medicine and those who don't all met the same fate, death. Their arguments are full of holes."
"Hmmph, there really are people who act like those people in panic and pandemic movies eh~."
Arisa had a weird impression.
"--This is bad."
Another group different from earlier is wreaking havoc in the temporary hospital we're heading to.
"It's a mobbing. I'm going on ahead--"
I jumped out of the carriage after saying that.
Liza and other combat personnel followed me.
We ran ahead and arrived at a place that looks like a refugee camp before rushing to a temporary hospital area in the corner.
A group of mob have it surrounded.
"What? Glass head?"
A sword wielding man turned his sword at me.
I flung the man away with the magical psychokinesis [Magic Hand] and struck down all the idiots besieging the hospital.
"Liza! Take care of the mob outside!"
"Understood! Tama, Pochi, come. Nana, secure the entrance."
"Aye aye sir~."
"Roger nanodesu! Pochi is a pro at beating down villains nanodesuyo!"
"Yes, Liza. None shall pass here so I announce."
The beastkin girls knocked out the hoodlums with overwhelming force while Nana stopped the mob trying to go after me with her iron fortress.
I beat down the hoodlums inside the hospital, and rushed to the medical supply storage room which seemed to be their target.
A doctor and a priest as well as several other personnel are inside the room protected by a holy magic barrier.
The doctor and priest are full of blood but they're still alive.
"Our help is--monster?!"
I got called monster by the people I was rescuing but that's understandable with my look.
I mean even the hoodlums stopped their attempt to destroy the barrier and turned at me.
"What the heck are you!"
"Those who don't belong in the hospital may leave now."
I'm not in the mood to argue with hoodlums, so I just threw them one by one out of the sole window in the room.
Of course they all went at me, but since none of them was particularly skilled, it was no issue.
"I am Hippocrates. A doctor, here to aid Norooku Kingdom."
Thus I said to the dumbfounded doctor and priest.
"Thought I'd die here."
The staff members hugged each other in relief.
"Our gratitude for your timely rescue."
"D-doctor! We must attend to your wound."
"I see you are deeply wounded. Here, use this magic potion."
I gave them some restoratives I had and asked the event that led to mob attacking them.
Apparently a radical faction of the demonstrators were the culprits.
Liza showed up behind the window where I threw the mob out to give status report.
"We have suppressed the mob outside. All of them arrested."
"Well done. Please keep watch until the carriage arrives."
Liza and the girls are so reliable.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Just as I was about done putting the rioters in a pit I made with [Pitfall] earth magic, the chamberlain and Arisa group arrived on their carriage.
We asked the people from refugee camp who had come to check the situation in the hospital to fetch the guard at Noromos town.
According to the doctor these refuges are people who left their villages and towns ravaged by the disease.
"Uwaa, this is no Nightingale tale, what's up with this horrible scene."
Arisa sighed her biggest as she got down the carriage.
By Nightingale tale, did she mean the story of battlefield hospital before her arrival?
Whoops, gotta focus.
Looking again at this hospital, on top of being dirty all over including the bedding and shut windows, they even had a pile of burned corpses right outside. Apparently the rioters were going to set this hospital on fire using that.
Not sanitary at all, and neither is it good for mental health.
It's also bad for the mental well being of the patients who would see those bodies getting burned.
"This won't do at all. ■..."
I feigned chanting to create a [Clay Wall] as a veil.
Next up, ventilation--.
"Mia, please summon Sylph to help with ventilation inside buildings."
"Nn, will do. ■..."
Next up, hygiene--.
"Liza, go with Nana and the girls to change the bedding and clothes."
I took a huge stack of clothes and bedding out of Storage via Item Box.
"Accepting order so I report."
The beastkin girls and Nana can take care of the patients.
Lastly, nutrition supplements--.
"Lulu, help the people here to cook food good for digestive system."
"Yes, I will get to it."
"Oral rehydration included?"
"Can I count on you?"
"Leave it to me!"
I also handed over handmade masks and antiseptic solution to teach the local personnel here--or rather, patient family and people dispatched by temples on the basic of disease prevention.
"Doctor-dono, where can I find the most severely ill patients?"
"All of them here. Every single one of them came here right before the blood vomiting stage."
And once they do, they die, thus the doctor spoke with a gloomy expression.
"May I take a look at the patients?"
"Naturally. --Here. This has the medical records, though it may not be of much help."
I walked to a boy with the least amount of health while skimming the record.
"Jarji! Open your eyes Jarji! Aren't you planning to name the goatling!"
A woman that seemed to be the mother desperately called out the boy's name.
The boy is already in a comatose state.
"I'm here to treat him."
As it was urgent, I peeled the woman away from the boy with [Magic Hand] and poured a Lesser Elixir down the boy's mouth.
I used [Magic Hand] to prevent the liquid flowing into his airway path.
A blue magic circle lit up on the boy's chest as his body rapidly got healed up.
The deathly pale boy regained his healthy complexion in the blink of an eye.
The boy slowly opened his eyes.
"--It's a miracle."
The doctor muttered in astonishment.
"Jarji, do you recognize me?"
"Jarji! Oh goodness! Thank you so much doctor!"
"He still lacks the stamina. Let him sleep for now."
Looks like even an unidentified disease is no match to the miraculous elixir, lesser it may be.
"Doctor Hippocrates! What is this medicine? With this we can--."
"It's a Lesser Elixir."
"Elixir? That legendary medicine created by elves? How many do you..."
I shook my head to reply the doctor.
I only have a handful of Lesser Elixirs left.
Other patient family brushed the doctor aside and came clinging to me.
"Doctor, please for our kid."
"My husband too!"
"And my wife!"
"I shall decide the order. Go attend to your family and don't get in the way."
Next up, Panacea.
"Thank you doctor!"
Someone with Appraisal skill shouted out loud followed by the patient family.
Panaceas also worked fine on those in critical conditions.
"Doctor Hippocrates, that looked like a different vial, what was that?"
"That's very scarce!"
"I don't have many of this left either--"
The doctor's face went glum as I spoke.
"Fret not. I do however have enough for this whole hospital."
The doctor broke into a smile and the priest sat down a nearby chair in relief.
They must have devoted their all into treating the patients despite the lack of effective treatment. The priest is even in an overdose state of mana medicine. He went above and beyond despite his age. Good work. Please take it easy now.
--That said, I'll run out of Panaceas soon at this rate.
There are way more patients in this whole kingdom after all.
"My child could have been saved if only you came a day earlier..."
As I soothed the bereaved families who couldn't help but express their grudge, I split up the work of giving Panaceas to patients in critical conditions with the doctor.
"This should buy us time. Next up--."
Investigating the cause of this disease.