The Regressed Demon Lord is Kind - chapter 66
With a strange expression, Hans watched Zich enter the building. Since they arrived at the Dracul estate, their battle against diseases continued all the way to Ospurin. At first, Hans really hated his work because he was afraid of the diseases and the patients’ horrifying appearances. Honestly, even now, Hans was not completely free of these feelings.
However, his sympathy and pity towards the patients increased over time. When he was unable to save the village, he was so sad that he wanted to burst out crying. And when he heard that there was hope of recovery, Hans worked harder than anyone else to stop the spread of diseases and aided patients. Therefore, all of Hans’ attention was now focused on Zich’s words and the cure he supposedly knew.
“Senior, what’s up?”
Snoc walked towards Hans. Using his earth powers, Snoc created earth barriers in infected areas and helped quarantine people. Snoc looked at the area where Hans was looking. Naturally, his stare followed the building Zich just entered.
“Does Sir Zich have business to attend to?”
“It’s because of the rumor.”
Rumor. Hearing this word, Snoc’s eyes changed with a flicker of curiosity.
“Do you think it’s real?”
As if he was sharing a secret plan, Snoc whispered directly into Hans’ ears. When Snoc’s breath reached his ears, Hans jumped back and pushed Snoc away with a fierce glare.
“What are you doing!”
Seeing Hans’ reaction, Snoc scratched his cheek in embarrassment; he realized that breathing directly into another person’s ear was rude.
Nowem, who was on Snoc’s shoulder, bit Snoc’s ear as if to scold him. Hans stopped glaring at Snoc and after letting out a sigh, replied to Snoc’s question. “I think there’s a high possibility that Sir Zich is telling the truth. No matter how shi—capricious Sir Zich’s personality is, I don’t think he is the type to lie about stuff like that.”
Hans almost let it out that he thought Zich had a ‘shitty personality.’ To his good fortune, it didn’t seem like Snoc noticed.
“Then is there really going to be a cure for this disease?”
The rumor was that Zich knew the cure for Igram. Even Snoc had heard about Igram before. It spread multiple times throughout Suol’s history, and while people were drinking in the bar, it came up a few times in conversations; of course, it was not when the bar’s atmosphere was loud and lively but when there was a lot of fear and insecurity spreading among the miners.
The Igram disease was incomparably less deadly than the other infectious diseases spreading around the Dracul estate, but it was such a famous disease that even Snoc knew about it. And to know a cure for a disease like that was unheard of!
“Don’t spread this rumor around for now. You also know that the second son of Count Dracul is trying to silence this, right?”
Even though they deeply trusted Zich, it was hard to believe that he found the cure for Igram. If word got out and Zich failed to produce the cure, the soldiers’ reactions would be full of despair and anger. By nature, people were more vulnerable to despair right after hope.
“Yes, sir!” Snoc replied confidently as he agreed with Hans’ reasoning.
“Then let’s continue our work. I’m going to go help the soldiers, and you check if there’s anything wrong with their behaviors…”
Hans closed his mouth. Zich got out of the building and headed off to a different place. The building Zich went in had been set aside for the cure’s clinical trials. Since the cure was so significant and precious, not many people knew about this place.
Hans quickly tried to gauze Zich’s expression. Zich’s expression was the same as usual: a face full of confidence, almost on the verge of arrogance. However, Zich didn’t always make this expression. When things did not go according to his plan, he would frown or scrunch up his face; of course, compared to other people, his annoyed or mad expressions were very minimal.
However, there was no trace of any annoyance or frown on his face.
‘He succeeded in finding the cure!’
That was what Hans predicted.
* * *
Zich quickly looked around for Joachim. Like usual, Joachim’s sickly appearance and pained expression were enough to trick people into thinking that he was a patient.
Joachim had been intently glaring at the map with infected areas marked on them. He finally raised his head.
“For what reason…!”
Joachim was about to ask Zich why he was here, but he jumped up after seeing Zich’s confident smile.
“Have you perhaps!”
“Yes, it is what we have been waiting for.”
“Let’s go there right now!”
Joachim placed all other thoughts out of his mind and followed Zich. If the cure worked, all of his problems would disappear at once. Zich and Joachim headed towards the building where clinical trials were taking place. Joachim silently pressured Zich on, and they walked extremely quickly. They were going so fast that Zich became worried Joachim might collapse from exhaustion.
Joachim burst the door open. The inside of the building was the same as when Zich left it.
“Sir, have you come to visit!”
The caretaker taking care of the patients greeted Joachim. However, Joachim ignored him and surveyed the patients lying on the beds. The patients tried to get up. They didn’t know who Joachim was, but they thought he must be a high official for the caretaker to address him as ‘sir.’
“You don’t have to get up for me.”
Joachim gestured towards the patients, and the patients awkwardly laid back down. Joachim remembered what their conditions were like before. When he first met them, they were very close to dying. If they didn’t receive treatment immediately, they would have not lasted more than a day or two days and ended up as pitiful victims. But now, the patients were looking at him with curiosity with no trace of death in their features. In fact, they looked healthy enough to not be considered patients anymore.
“How do they look?”
Standing behind Joachim, Zich asked confidently. Joachim turned around and saw Zich with his arms folded in front of the building’s entrance. Joachim opened his arms wide, walked towards Zich, and gave him a huge hug.
“Meeting you was the most fortunate thing that ever happened to me!”
* * *
‘He’s really happy.’
Joachim smiled brightly with not a single bit of restraint; anyone could see that he was overjoyed. Considering how much he struggled and worried about the spread of diseases, Joachim’s bliss was expected.
‘But this is this and that is that.’
Zich pushed Joachim away. Zich’s sexual orientation was as straight as an arrow, and he didn’t want to be hugged by a man no matter how good the circumstances were.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Because I was so happy, I got too excited.”
Joachim said this with embarrassment, but his elated expression showed how happy he was. However, as expected of a veteran who spent the past months fighting against infectious diseases, Joachim quickly calmed down and focused on his tasks.
“How much did they improve?”
Judging by their appearance, the patients looked fully healed, but Joachim needed to make sure.
“Most of the symptoms have disappeared. They still cough sometimes, but it’s very light.”
“That’s enough for people to trust the cure. What did you say the ingredients were?”
“There are a lot of different kinds of medicinal ingredients in it, but the most important ones are Pulazu Leaf, Bukul Root, and Wim Fruit.”
“Hmm, they are all medicinal ingredients that I’m not familiar with.”
Even though Joachim was the leader of the troops fighting against infectious diseases, he was not a doctor or an apothecary; so, it was natural for him to not know much about medicinal ingredients. Zich omitted all other information about making the cure (he didn’t know too well either) and only gave the information that Joachim needed to know.
“All three of them are extremely expensive. The other ingredients are going to be pretty expensive too.”
No matter how severe the situation was, money was always an important factor to consider. There was also a huge number of patients, so if they didn’t plan accordingly, they might not be able to prevent the epidemic even while knowing the cure.
“Will you be able to meet the budget?”
“If you give me a little bit more money, I can do it. The ingredients are expensive, but they are not very rare. It’s the same for the other ingredients.”
“That’s good. Then please make a list of those three and the other ingredients. I’ll prepare the money somehow, even if I have to take out all my money or force it out of my brother.”
Joachim was overly chatty right now; but seeing his sparkling eyes, he really looked like he would barge into the castle if he needed the money. Joachim commanded the soldiers outside to bring him a piece of paper and a writing tool.
“I will try my best to retrieve as many of the ingredients as possible. So, will you be able to tell the doctors how to make the cure…?” Then Joachim closed his mouth.
“…I know it’s strange for me to mention this now, but will it be all right? You found the cure for Igram. If you monopolize the cure and sell it, you’d be able to make heaps of money.”
Patients weren’t the only ones who’d want the cure; kings, nobles, and other high officials would all desperately fight each other to claim it. But Zich shook his head.
“I don’t have much interest in money. Moreover, I’m trying to live a kind life. If people benefit from this cure, it’ll be good for me as well.”
If it also helped Joachim succeed as Count Dracul and bring out Fest, it would be even better.
“…I said this before, but I will say it again.” Joachim smiled brightly; his trembling eyes were filled with admiration for Zich. “Meeting you was the most fortunate thing that have ever happened to me.”
* * *
After Zich revealed the cure, many more patients began to recover. People who were moments away from death completely reversed their conditions, and the severity of overall symptoms dropped significantly. On the other hand, the situation was far from over. Time was needed to retrieve ingredients and make the cure, and since the epidemic was still going on, new cases were still appearing. However, the peak of the epidemic was over, and cases were going down.
While making the cure with the doctors, a soldier told Zich that Joachim was calling for him. Zich followed the soldier to Joachim’s headquarters.
“Sir, I have brought Sir Zich here!”
“Bring him in!”
“Let’s go in, sir.”
Ever since Zich revealed the cure to Igram, his authority reached the heavens. From then on, all the soldiers and even Joachim treated him with great respect.
Zich opened the door and went in. Since he visited the headquarters many times, everything felt familiar to him. There was a large table and chair in the middle, busy maps on the wooden board, and a large pile of reports on the table; all of these items showed Zich that the epidemic was far from over.
The scenery in front of him was familiar. But there was an unfamiliar person in the room; the person was someone Zich had never seen before. No, to be more precise, it was someone who he had never seen working directly in the field.
‘He’s the guy who used to be next to that fat bastard, Biyom.’
With great confidence, he was the old man who proclaimed to be Biyom’s confidant. When the epidemic was at its peak, he was nowhere to be found, but now that the epidemic was waning, he had his chin high up as if he had been supporting them all along.
“Welcome in, Mr. Zich.”
Now, Joachim used ‘Mr.’ whenever he addressed Zich. But for some reason, there was a deep frown on his face. This was very strange. Since Zich found the cure, Joachim always looked at him with complete trust and gratefulness oozing out of his eyes.
‘Is it because of that person?’
As Zich thought this, Biyom’s confidant moved towards Zich.
“You are Zich?”
The man had a cold face, and his manners were rude.
‘Wow,’ Zich thought and scowled. ‘What’s up with this rude bastard?’