Grandson of the Holy Emperor is a Necromancer - Chapter 283
While still in my disguise as ‘Extra’, I continued to observe the new recruits closely.
“Isn’t that insane?! You want us to survive a plague?!”
Unsurprisingly, they began protesting vociferously, but Harman simply shook his head and countered them, saying, “We’ve already told you this. Instances of casualties arising from our training methods will almost never happen. You must cooperate with your comrades to endure this trial. That is your training this time.”
“Almost?! What do you mean by ‘almost’?! Isn’t that basically the same thing as you admitting that someone will die?”
Well, this sure turned into a fine mess…
I could tell that everyone was terrified out of their wits. Some were even saying that they’d rather give up the training here.
There were quite a lot of dropouts. More than I expected, at least.
Too bad, as I wasn’t even considering lowering the difficulty level of the training regime. The thing was, this training they were asked to do? It was the most basic of all basic training that all the Heavenly Army members had to go through.
Here’s the thing: vampires didn’t get tired. They didn’t care whether it was day or night.
It was natural that we’d resort to a forced march to build up the new recruits’ stamina. The claws and fangs of the vampires carried toxins and were also capable of spreading plagues, as well. So this training of enduring plagues was meant to build up one’s resistance against the illnesses and learn how to adapt as quickly as possible.
Of course, it was also to foster even closer camaraderie, too.
The first fifty ‘recruits’ to contract the plague? They were actually members of the Order of the Crimson Cross, one of the loyal forces of the Theocratic Empire.
Whether these recruits would attack or abandon their sickly comrades, or nurse them back to health and take care of them… That would be where these people would be judged.
Vampires were very strong. You couldn’t beat them with one or two sloppily-trained soldiers. That’s why teamwork was crucial and the sense of belonging to a group was an absolute necessity.
For the next week or so, we were planning to observe their behaviour.
And so, time ticked by pretty quickly.
The plague continued to spread. If someone contracted it, then the new recruits distanced themselves from that person, even though they were supposed to be comrades in arms.
Too bad for them, they would be disqualified.
“Didn’t you say you were an apothecary?!”
It was getting late at night. Someone shouted in my direction, so I turned my head to look. A group of recruits was walking towards me in a huff.
“Don’t you have any healing medicine or something?!”
“What about the mask you’re wearing, then? I heard that it can prevent the plague from infecting you.”
“That’s true. It has such functions, but I only have this one mask.”
The gazes of the nearby recruiters all focused on us.
One of the group reached out and grabbed my collar. “Since you have that mask, you might also have some other medicines to deal with this plague, am I right?! Hurry up and cough it out. My comrade is dying right now!”
He sounded pretty anxious at the moment.
I replied to him calmly, “Your comrade should give up, then. The Priests on standby will treat your friend in that case.”
“Dammit, that idiot won’t give up, and that’s the whole problem here! Even back at home in the village, he kept making all those big boasts, you know?! Even when we were young, he kept mouthing off about becoming a knight or whatever! But now, he…!”
Harman walked up to us and asked in a grave voice, “Oii, you. Soldier over there. What are you doing?”
The recruit groaned under his breath and let go of my collar.
I spoke up again, “It’s too bad, but other than some salves to apply to external wounds, the one we received as a part of our supplies, I don’t have any treatments for plagues like this one. As for the rest of my stuff, they were confiscated.”
“What about your mask, then?”
“They said they don’t mind if I use it as a healer’s mask.”
The recruit clicked his tongue before leaving in dissatisfaction.
Hmm. That guy, he definitely got a passing grade just now. Not only did he care about his comrade, he also acted rationally, despite the situation being urgent.
I entered the tent where Gril’s group was staying.
Gril was coughing away, and suffering from a high fever.
Yuria wiped his sweaty forehead with a handkerchief soaked in water. As for Adolf, he was melting the snow found outside to restock the drinking water supply now running dangerously low.
These three were also getting full passing marks from me.
“Uncle, please, just give up. You might really die if you keep this up, you know?” Yuria said in a worried voice.
“Don’t make me laugh! My Charlotte became a Paladin. My daughter became one, so why can’t her father do it, too?!”
“I think that’s enough of your delusions of grandeur.”
“I’m telling you, I’m not delusional!”
Gril continued to deny what Yuria was saying to him. Adolf took Gril’s wrist to check the pulse before injecting some divinity into him.
“You know medical techniques?” I asked Adolf in some surprise.
“Nah, it’s just some emergency first aid stuff that most other mercenaries also know about. Its effectiveness is negligible at best. I can’t even heal a common flu, you see.” Adolf looked back at me and asked instead, “By any chance, do you know any treatment methods? I know you said that other than what’s been supplied to us, everything else of yours got confiscated, but you’re still an apothecary, so you must know how to diagnose someone, at least.”
I took out a gourd-shaped bottle from my inner pocket.
What great timing this was. My initial plan was to use this alias of [Extra] to write a letter and send it to these folks along with the elixir concocted by Hans, but now that we were already acquainted like this, I might as well give it to them right now.
“If you want medicine, well, I do have this.”
“…What kind of a medicine is this?”
“It’s a real cure-all wonder drug. Except that it’s got a nasty stench.” While saying that, I popped the cork open.
The soul-shuddering stench quickly filled the interior of the tent. Heck, the smell must’ve gotten outside too, because we could hear the other recruits beyond the tent’s flaps swearing loudly.
Gril was currently suffering from a high fever, meaning he was greatly weakened right now. The stench alone must’ve been enough to churn his stomach the other way around, because he suddenly turned his head and began throwing up inside a nearby leather rucksack.
Yuria’s face paled instantly at that sight. “…That’s my bag!” She angrily smacked the back of Gril’s head, before making a tearful face while staring at her ruined rucksack.
Adolf was also covering his nose while frowning deeply. His face told me how hard he was trying to keep the meal he had eaten earlier down in his stomach right now.
I spoke to him, “This potion is created by combining the sap of some plants and holy water. Not only is it effective against plagues, it’ll also make your body feel so much lighter. In a few days, you may even gain some level of immunity against plagues, too.”
Adolf had a contemplative expression after listening to my explanation.
I added one more thing, “Oh, and also, it doesn’t contain any toxins.”
“…I know.” Adolf took the gourd from me and pushed it towards Gril.
“Oii, Mister Adolf, you are not suggesting that I drink that thing, now are you?”
“It’s to prevent the spread of the plague. Gril, drink it.”
“Oh my goddess! I’d rather get quarantined by myself. Besides, this tent is mine, anyway! There will not be any problems if all three of you get out of…?!”
“It’s too late for that.”
Adolf simply shoved the sloshing gourd into Gril’s mouth. The latter struggled and flailed about, prompting Yuria to quickly restrain his arms and legs while grunting at the difficulty.
“Oh, and one more thing. You get the best effect when drinking the whole thing.”
When I said that, Adolf shoved the gourd even further down inside Gril’s mouth. The latter continued to struggle, but eventually, his eyes rolled over and his whole body went limp.
“…Is he dead?” Yuria asked in a worried voice.
“No, he just blacked out. However, his condition seems to have improved,” Adolf answered, after placing his hand on Gril’s forehead. He sighed in relief after confirming that the high fever had gone down now. “The efficacy of the drug has been confirmed with this. But seeing how its effects manifest so instantly, the drug must be quite valuable… Mm?”
I pushed forward two more bottles at Adolf and Yuria. “You two should also drink them.”
“You want us to drink something this horrible?! No, I don’t want to!” Yuria hurriedly shook her head.
But Adolf was staring at me intensely, instead. It was as if he wanted to peer into my head or something. “Very well. I’ll drink it.”
“Eh? You will?” Yuria was stunned by Adolf’s declaration, but he simply pressed one of the bottles over to her. He then took his bottle and began shaking it lightly. “This can definitely prevent the plague, yes?”
“Of course,” I replied.
“…Yuria, drink it.”
“You told me that your dream was to become a Paladin and revive your monastery, didn’t you? If you contract the plague now and get kicked out, then all you’ve achieved so far will be for nothing.”
“…I understand.” Yuria firmly squeezed her eyes shut, popped the cork open, then dumped the whole thing in her mouth. Adolf also drank the potion in one go.
They began groaning in pain, like someone getting tortured. Judging from their paling complexions, they must’ve found the taste of the elixir totally disgusting.
“Every medicine that’s good for you is supposed to taste bad, you know?” I grinned deeply and gifted them with that piece of sagely advice before leaving the tent. “Okay, get some rest now.”