Act 02: Potions
Those who do not work do not eat.
It had been awhile since I’d moved.
I’d started working at the Medicinal Herb Research Institute without a hitch.
It felt uncomfortable to turn my hobby into a job, but after thinking things over, I thought this was the best choice.
It seemed that only a limited number of people knew that I was going to be working at the Research Institute. So the researchers at the institute only found out on my first day of work, when the Director took me along to greet everyone.
“I have been assigned to work here. My name is Sei. I look forward to working with you.”
The Director urged me to give my greetings, but for some reason everyone was in shock.
I already knew most of the researchers here, but it seems that having me work here came as a great surprise to them because it was so sudden.
Because of that, they didn’t react to my greeting at first, but after a while they begin to create a commotion.
Director: “Well then, the person who will be looking after Sei is… Jude, you do it.”
The Director spoke in a loud voice to calm down the commotion.
I was surprised at suddenly being told that Jude would be the one looking after me. But I also felt reassured knowing that Jude would be the one in charge of me, since he was the one I was closest to amongst the researchers.
It was very common in Japan to work with people you didn’t know, so I thought I could manage even if someone I didn’t know was in charge of me, however, it was still better to work under someone I knew.
Furthermore, it was even better that it was someone I’m close with.
The Director probably thought of the same thing, and put Jude in charge of me.
“I look forward to working with you.”
I was surprised and greeted Jude again, and he replied with a smile.
Jude taught me various things about the Research Institute, like the main research topics which gave their name to the Research Institute, and the names of medicinal herbs and potions.
The effects of the medicinal herbs were also the same as in my original world. In between Jude’s explanation, I talked about what I had learnt in Japan and he said in surprise, “You know them well.”
In Japan, you could learn about medicinal herbs as a hobby, but here, there was a specialised course for learning about medicinal herbs at the Royal Academy.
Incidentally, the Royal Academy was a school that the children of aristocrats attended. They generally attended this school from 13 till 15 years old, which was also when they came of age.
The specialised course was made for people to attend until they were 18. Jude had studied pharmaceutics in that specialised course, and he also learnt about herbs.
You could also study natural science in my original world, and as I’d thought, the research there was more advanced.
Jude’s specialised research was potions.
That’s right, potions. Potions.
It’s the type of thing that appeared in RPG games.
Because you could drink it or apply it onto the affected area, I thought it would be similar to medicine in Japan. But it was somewhat different, since potions should have had an immediate effect, right?
How far can the effects go?
The cut that I’d carelessly made was instantly healed when I applied the potion on it.
That surprised me.
In order to know the effects of the potions, I’d grabbed a knife and cut my fingertip with it. Jude was surprised to see me do this.
I’d wanted to test it out no matter what, so I just made a tiny cut on my finger, but it bled terribly.
After that, Jude was angry.
My first day ended with an explanation of the Research Institute’s equipment and the contents of my job.
The next day, I was taught how to make potions.
Jude mainly researched potions, and since I thought it would be more fun to touch things that didn’t exist in my original world, I wanted to research together.
“Well then, let’s get started.”
Jude looked experienced as he started making the potion.
I’d never made a potion before, and since we would be working together from then on, Jude had to show me how to make it.
Potions were made by putting medicinal herbs and water into a pot, then simmering and concentrating magic power into it.
Potions were divided into ranks such as low, intermediate and advanced. The rank seemed to be determined by the medicinal herbs that were used.
However, high-ranking potions couldn’t be made just by putting in the prescribed medicinal herb.
A delicate control of magic was needed in order to make high-ranking potions, and so the possible rank of production depended upon the skills of the creator.
The medicinal herbs that were used as ingredients were expensive, and the number of people who could make such potions were few, so high-ranking potions were sold at a price that couldn’t be easily afforded.
In the first place, no one other than royalty and aristocrats could buy potions, and so they didn’t seem to be stocked at apothecaries.
Well, let’s return to the story.
To make a potion, it was necessary to channel magic in while the ingredients simmered.
“After putting in the ingredients, you simmer it while channelling magic power in.”
When I had first heard that, I thought about how I would go about channelling magic power. I must have misheard him.
Because there’s no magic in my original world.
“How do you channel it?”
Jude was surprised when I asked that question.
There was magic in this world.
Magic power was necessary to use magic. There was something called life magic that everyone could use, so it seemed that the people of this world were very familiar with magic power.
I thought that this was becoming more and more like a game since I’d heard the word “potion” and now “magic”. But there was no doubt this was reality.
“Have you never used magic before, Sei?”
“I have not.”
“Not even life magic?”
Jude was really surprised that I had never used life magic before, since it was something that even ordinary people used. But I couldn’t make potions if I couldn’t control my magic. After he had finished making the potion, Jude decided to lecture me on magic control.
“Now it’s finished.”
After Jude had finished simmering the potion, he’d strained it before pouring it into a long, thin vial. In the vial was a clear, light red liquid.
The potion that Jude had made this time was the easiest Low HP Potion.
He had made it because the ingredients used were grown in the herb garden and were easily obtainable.
“It’s amazing that you can make something like this~.”
“It’s a Low HP Potion, so it’s relatively easy to make.”
“But you can’t make it if you can’t control your magic, right?”
Jude: “Well, that’s true. But since it’s only a Low Potion it shouldn’t be too difficult.”
“Really? But as I thought, it’s amazing.”
“I-Is that so?”
I was excited at seeing fantasy items in front of my eyes and kept saying that it was amazing. Jude was bashful.
Jude is slightly blushing, he’s a honeycomb1)Blushing while being bashful hunk.
It was a sight for sore eyes.
After the potion was finished, Jude began his lecture on magic control.
Jude taught me in great detail, the same way he was taught at the Royal Academy.
Yes, he literally held my hand.
It seemed that I had to start off by feeling the magic power in my body, but that was extremely difficult.
Why? Because I lived in a world with no magic.
If the people of this world only used life magic, it seemed that there were no problems for them even if they weren’t aware of the magic power in their bodies.
Most life magic could be invoked by chanting.
However, to make potions or use magic other than life magic, it was important to be aware of the magic in your body.
Jude explained the various ways to feel magic power, but since I couldn’t do them, Jude assisted me by using the Royal Academy method.
“Well, put your hands on top of mine.”
As explained earlier, Jude raised his hands until they were up to his chest, and I put my palms on top of his.
Since he worked in the herb garden as part of his job, Jude’s hands were a little rough.
His hands were bigger than mine; they were definitely a man’s hands. I could feel Jude’s slightly higher temperature on my palms.
I was a little embarrassed because I had never held a man’s hands like this before.
No, no, you’ll lose if you start to notice it.
While I was trying to change my feelings like that, Jude called out to me, “Well then, let’s start.”
Jude sent magic power from his right palm, and then I felt something gradually flowing into mine.
It was similar to heat being transferred. It’s a hard feeling to describe.
When Jude’s magic power entered my right hand, it moved inside my body as if it was sweeping something away.
It seemed that this was my magic power.
It wasn’t as if the magic power was moving from my right hand and out from my left; instead, it felt like it was flowing through my body like blood.
It seemed that my body had stopped being that of an Earthling when I was summoned.
Because my body had now become able to feel magic power, which was something that had never existed on Earth.
“I feel something flowing through my body.”
“Oh? Already? That’s magic power.”
Jude was a bit surprised when I told him I felt it, but he still taught me while smiling.
It was a training method at the Royal Academy, but even so it generally took people about one week to feel the magic power in their bodies.
Jude said while laughing, “You’re talented,” since I was able to feel it quickly even though Jude had only sent a little bit of magic power to me.
The magic power still flowed through me even after Jude had stopped sending me magic power. The practice of magic control continued further from there, and Jude showed surprise that things were proceeding smoothly.
“Awesome, I didn’t think that the explanation would finish so soon.”
“I’m sure it’s because you’re good at teaching. Thank you.”
When I smiled sweetly and thanked him, he blushed and became bashful again.
Indeed, Jude’s teaching method was very easy to understand.
Jude, who had become happy, taught me various life magics afterwards.
He told me that it was inconvenient for me if I didn’t know how to use life magic.
A little time had passed since I’d been summoned, and Jude had opened up to me.
To the point that he stopped using honorifics.
Since Jude had started working at the Research Institute first, I treated him as if he was a company sempai, but since we were close in age, Jude told me that he wanted me to stop being so formal.
After having been taught by Jude, I earnestly made Low HP Potions.
Everything was for the sake of levelling up my production skill so that I could make high ranking potions.
It was also simply fun to level up while making potions.
Back in the days, I liked playing games that had a speedrun component, so I really got into it.
Of course, I didn’t want to waste the Low HP Potions that I made, so it was decided that they would be used for research at the Research Institute.
The first unusual thing I noticed was that the researcher who was researching potions was not Jude.
When I looked back at the voice that was a little far away, I saw the researcher beckoning at me.
I approached him while wondering what it was about. He pointed at the Low HP Potion on the work desk.
“Is that a potion that Sei made?”
“Mhmmm… Yes. I made that.”
The potions made inside of the Research Institute were marked, so that people could tell who made them.
They were marked so that if something happened, investigations into the cause could be carried out.
The potion that the researcher pointed at had a mark that indicated that I had made it.
“Did you do anything different when you made it?”
“No. I didn’t do anything different. Is something the matter?”
“Well, the effects of the potions are different when you make the potion.”
This researcher was developing new recipes for potions.
Right now he was trying to make a new potion with higher effects by using the raw ingredients of an already existing potion. It seemed that during one of his experiments, he’d noticed that the effects of the potion made in the laboratory were different from the ones being sold.
While he was doing a detailed investigation, he noticed that amongst the potions made in the Research Institute, there were some that had the same effects as the potions sold, and some which were more potent. From there, he discovered that only the potions made by me were more potent.
The researcher tilted his head and wondered if I really didn’t do anything different.
I made the potions with the same ingredients and procedure that Jude first taught me. I didn’t change the procedure nor the ingredients.
“This is really a Low Potion, right?”
“I think so. I made it exactly like Jude taught me.”
“I see. I guess I’ll go ask Jude.”
This time, the researcher called Jude and asked him about what he taught me.
I was listening next to them, but the contents were exactly the same as I remembered.
“It’s the typical method for making Low Potions.”
“Yes. I don’t know any other methods for making potions.”
“For the time being, let’s appraise the potion that Sei made.”
“That might be too soon.”
In the end, because I didn’t know the cause, it was decided that the potion I made would be sent for appraisal.
Then the researcher went out somewhere and I got the appraisal result for the potion I made.
Don’t be surprised.
The potion I made was a simple one, but we established that for some reason it was better than the potions circulating in the markets.
It seemed that it was 50% better than those potions.
“Still, it’s weirdly effective,” Jude muttered while holding the potion I made with one hand.
The potions I made seemed super effective.
Several vials of potion were submitted for appraisal, but all of them were more effective than the market goods.
“I’m making it just like you taught me.”
“The colour is definitely that of a Low HP Potion, but I wonder why?”
“Who knows, maybe because I’m skilled?”
“Let’s see, I don’t think it matters, but how high is your pharmacy skill now?”
“Wait a minute. 『Status』.”
After reciting 『Status』, a semi-transparent window, which could only be seen by the user, appeared in front of me. My status was displayed there.
This was one of the life magics that Jude taught me.
This was also one of the reasons why I’d been so engrossed in raising the level of my production skill.
I thought that seeing the level of my skills in numerical value was also one of the components of speedrun games.
Seeing the skills represented by numerical value made me want to carelessly aim for counterstop2)Japanese game term – max value.
Holy attribute magic: Lv. ∞
Pharmacy: Lv. 8
After confirming my status, I told him the level of my pharmacy skill, and Jude tilted his head while humming, “Hmm.”
“If you’re at level 8, you still can’t make Intermediate Potion yet.”
“Well, isn’t it fine? It’s not like the effects are low.”
Jude: “No, no, no. It’s not at a marginal level where we can let it slide. It’s our job to clarify things like this!”
I thought that it was fine as long as the effectiveness was high, but Jude was angry because studying such mysterious phenomena and investigating the causes was also part of a researcher’s job.
There was no choice, I had to go along with Jude’s inquiries.
“Even compared with other people, the type and amount of ingredients used are the same, the procedure is the same, and the only thing that’s different is the person who made it.”
“The only other thing I could think of is the amount of magic power that’s being channelled in but…”
“Do you channel in a large amount of magic power when you make potions?”
“I wonder? I don’t think that I use that much magic power though.”
“Yeah, I didn’t feel anything like that when I watched next to you…”
If you increased the amount of medicinal herbs, channeled more magic power, or upgraded the raw ingredients used in a potion, it would more-or-less increase the effectiveness of the potion made.
But it wouldn’t increase by 50%; it would only increase by a few percent.
The procedure was so simple that even if I changed it, it would only be to the extent of how much magic power I channeled into the hot water at first or how many medicinal herbs were put in to simmer.
It seemed that the currently established procedure was the most effective, and the effects didn’t rise any further.
I made various potion experiments together with Jude while saying, “Not this,” “Not that either.”
“Are there magics that might influence potion making?”
“I haven’t thought about that.”
“There’s not much difference in effect between the potions made by those who possess magic skills and those who don’t.”
There were magic skills with various attributes amongst combat skills.
Life magic wasn’t included among these magic skills, and generally speaking, those who had magic skills were those who could use magic.
I thought that those who had magic skills would possess an attribute that affected the potion, but according to Jude, it didn’t seem relevant.
“Aren’t you putting something other than magic in, Sei?”
“Mm, I don’t really know,” Jude said and laughed while taking a long, hard look at my hands.
His expression showed that he was joking.
Since he’d opened up to me, the times Jude would joke like this during the middle of discussions had increased.
“What the heck is it?”
The discussion once again returned to the beginning.
“There’s no choice, we’ll have to find the cause by trying various things. It’s also part of our job to unravel this, isn’t it?”
Thence, I made potions with Jude under various conditions.
Thus, my days passed by while making potions.
It had been 3 months since I’d been summoned.
|Takanashi Sei Lv. 55/Saint|
Holy attribute magic: Lv. ∞
Pharmacy: Lv. 21
Just by doing nothing but making potions at the Research Institute, my pharmacy skill had risen to 21.
Since the rank of the potion made increased for every 10 levels, I could now make Advanced HP Potions.
However, I still failed a lot……
Because numerous valuable medicinal herbs were used to make Advanced Potions, I couldn’t easily make many at this level since I failed a lot.
The number of high rank potions I’d made since reaching level 20 was still only 3.
Nevertheless, since the number of people who could make Advanced Potions were few to begin with, it was quite a feat for a newbie researcher like me to be able to make Advanced Potions.
It seemed that up until now there, hadn’t been a single person in this Research Institute that could make Advanced Potions. When Advanced Potions were needed for research, they were ordered from outside, so when I was able to make them, everyone was happy since the time and cost of conducting research decreased.
Although was necessary to make potions in order to raise the level of the pharmacy skill, magic power eventually ran out. Therefore, there was a limit to how many potions could be made in a day. It seemed that the levels could not be easily raised.
“As always, you’ve made an unusual amount.”
“Yes. Because making no less than 10 Intermediate Potions per day is pretty strange.”
The Intermediate HP Potions were lined up in a row in front of my eyes.
The efficiency of these potions was, of course, 50% more than normal.
According to the Director of the Research Institute, even if the potion was poorly made, it might still be more effective than regular Advanced HP Potions.
Even now, Jude and two others were inspecting my potions day and night, in order to find the cause of the strange efficiency.
As usual, they couldn’t understand the cause at all. Jude and I must have overlooked something, so other researchers had also recently joined the investigation.
The potion was inspected from various angles—there were those who inspected the production process, those who inspected the potion itself, etc. Meanwhile, I kept on earnestly making potions.
Throughout the day.
When was it? It was on the day that I made 150 vials of Low HP potions.
Jude asked, “Can you still make them?”
My reply to that was, “Make what?”
Thereupon I finally learnt about the general amount of potions that a person could make in a day.
The magic power channelled into the potion increased as the rank got higher. It seemed that the average number a person could make per day was a 100 vials of Low Potions or 10 vials of Intermediate Potions.
This case applied to pharmacists who specialised in potion-making. It was even lower for most of those who were working at the Research Institute.
MP certainly decreased when making potions, but because it was an insignificant amount, I didn’t care at all.
Therefore, Jude said that I wasn’t channelling magic power in while I made potions, but my MP was steadily decreasing, and in the first place if you didn’t channel any magic power in, you would only make juice from the infused medicinal herbs.
In the end the Director said, “Let’s prioritize the research on improving efficiency,” so I went back to making potions every day, but it seemed I got a bit carried away.
I made more potions than needed for research, so they became leftovers.
Although they could be sold at a good wholesale price, regrettably, the performance was 1.5 times greater than normal, which would be a problem when sold. So now there was a superb amount of potions at the Research Institute.
“You’ve made a lot again. The Director’s going to scold you.”
“I forgot to count the number of potions I made because I was concentrating, you know?”
I wanted to quickly be able to make Advanced HP Potions without complaints, so I was only levelling up.
Because the medicinal herbs I used were from the herb garden, recently there had been people complaining to the Director about the decrease in medicinal herbs at the herb garden.
Because getting scolded was unpleasant, I thought about hiding the potions I made today in my room. I was taking the day’s potions out of the cabinet when the laboratory door opened with a slam.
When I turned around, I saw a panting soldier. He shouted, “Where’s the Director?” as he darted into the laboratory.
When I pointed at the door leading to the Director’s room, he headed there in a rush.
What on earth was happening?
After a while, the soldier and Director come out from the Director’s room.
“It’s an emergency, collect all of the recovery potions now.”
“The 3rd Knight Order has returned from Ghosh forest, but a Salamander appeared. Many were injured, and it seems there aren’t enough potions.”
I understood the situation from asking a researcher near the Director.
This week the 3rd Knight Order subjugated demons in the Ghosh forest, located west of the capital. But they apparently suffered enormous damage there.
The easygoing Director, who was always pleasantly smiling, was giving instructions with a dreadful face. The researchers instantly started noisily collecting potions from desk drawers and shelves and gathering it onto the desk near the entrance of the laboratory.
Together with Jude, I also took potions out of the cabinet and carried them to the desk.
The soldier was surprised at the amount of potions gathered on the desk and said, “This many!?”
Yes, because they were recently amassed.
After we finished taking out all the potions from the cabinet, I remembered I had placed some Advanced HP Potions in my room, so I went to retrieve them.
When I returned from my room, everyone had finished gathering the potions in the laboratory and were loading them onto the wagon parked outside of the door.
“Some of you come with me.”
As instructed by the Director, the researchers near the entrance boarded the wagon.
The wagon began moving when I got on it.
“Hey, does something like a dragon ever appear in the Ghost forest?”
“Dragons? No, they don’t.”
“Isn’t a Salamander a firedrake?”
“Hm? Salamanders are just lizards that breathe fire.”
I received an unexpected reply when I asked Jude, who came with us, about the Salamander.
Salamanders weren’t dragons……
Although I had imagined it to be a firedrake……
“It’s able to cause this much damage despite only being a lizard……”
“Even though it’s a lizard, it’s big and agile. Nonetheless, it’s not of the dragon species, it’s a high-ranking demon.”
The Salamander’s image in my head had now become a 10 metre long Komodo dragon.
It breathes fire while moving at high speeds. The moment it confronts me, I’m confident that I won’t be able to move, and give up on life.
While I was thinking about how hard it must have been for the Knight Order to face such a high-ranking demon, the wagon stopped at a corner of the royal palace.
As soon as I entered the building, I was greeted by a battlefield.
“This is terrible……”
Many injured people were sleeping in the room that was normally used as a hall, and people who looked like doctors and nurses are running around in the spaces between them.
In the room, the groans of the wounded and burnt victims of the Salamander’s fire overflowed, and the voices of the doctors screaming, “Are the potions here yet?” resounded throughout it.
My carefree mind from a while ago chilled. I stood frozen on the spot, dumbfounded. The Director stood up first and clapped his hands.
Director: “Distribute the potions that we brought! You two are over there, Jude and Sei, please take care of the other side.”
I took several of the potions and distributed them to the doctors here and there.
The doctors were mostly standing near those who were seriously injured and gave the potions to the patients as soon as they received them.
Due to the shortage of HP potions, Low HP potions were also given to the severely injured, even though they would normally require an Intermediate Potion for complete recovery.
The doctors probably felt that it was better to give them something instead of giving up.
Especially for patients who were on the border of life and death.
Because by giving them the potion, they might survive.
A doctor who’d given a patient the potion, which had been handed to him by the researcher, was surprised.
After giving the potion to the patient who was breathing heavily, his skin, which had been greatly torn by the demon’s claw, was completely healed. The patient, who had his eyes closed, opened them when he felt the pain suddenly disappear. He timidly checked his body.
All his wounds had disappeared, even the small scratches that he had everywhere, and his pale complexion was also improving.
“It was a Low Potion, right?”
The doctor, with a dubious look on his face, held up the empty vial in his hand, but since he’d given everything to the patient, it was difficult to determine the rank of the potion.
The doctor was surely given a Low HP potion, but it wasn’t just any Low HP Potion.
It was the 50% improved potion that I made. In other words, it was as effective as an Intermediate Potion.
I left before the doctor could ask me anything, and distributed the potions one after another.
I could hear the bewildered voices of doctors and nurses from here and there, but I ignored them.
For now, distributing potions had priority.
“Are there any Advanced HP Potions?”
I heard someone’s voice at the back of the hall.
Many doctors and knights were gathered at the place where the voice came from.
Is that where the voice came from?
Because I had an Intermediate HP Potion on hand, I headed over there and as I approached, I could hear people discussing something.
“This could be difficult even with an Advanced Potion. Is there anyone who can use recovery magic?”
“Even if they could use recovery magic, if it’s not level 4 or over…”
“What about Saint-sama? That person can use level 4 recovery magic, right?”
“His Highness Kyle did not want to show such a brutal scene like this to Saint-sama……”
Kyle was certainly the first Prince’s name, that red-head that looked like he’d go bald in the future.
It was certainly difficult to see seriously wounded parts of patients without censorship.
Even I, who prided herself in having some tolerance towards splatter, gave out potions while looking as little as possible.
That easy-going Aira-chan would faint the moment she saw something like this.
The knight who was listening to the civil official-like person’s explanation, was he the patient’s friend?
Since I couldn’t see the patient due to the crowd of people, I couldn’t judge his condition. But it seemed that the injury was so serious that it was difficult to heal even with an Advanced HP Potion.
When I looked around the crowd, I saw the Director and walked over to him. He called out to me when he noticed me approaching.
“Sei! Are there any Advanced HP Potions left?”
“Ah, then, 「Captain」!”
When I turned towards the voice, the doctors and nurses quickly begin to move.
The patient’s condition seemed to have taken a sudden turn for the worse.
I also pushed my way through the crowd of people and went to the patient’s side.
Looking closely, the right upper half of the patient’s body was burnt, and he had various wounds all over his body. It was a miracle that he was alive.
His rough breathing gradually became quiet.
“Hey, move aside!”
I pushed the doctor away and looked at the patient.
It looked like he’d die soon.
I took out the Advanced HP Potion from my apron pocket in a hurry, opened the lid, and brought it to his mouth.
When I said, “Please drink!” in a loud voice, he was somehow able to drink the potion, little by little.
The surrounding people swallowed their saliva as they attentively watched him slowly drink the potion.
After a period of time passed, I looked at the patient who had finished drinking all the potion. His charred skin had peeled, and beautiful skin appeared from underneath it.
His rough breathing settled down, but it didn’t stop. It was the calm breathing of a sleeping person.
When I ascertained it with my own eyes, I breathed out at a job well done.
The surrounding people shouted out in joy, “Oooouuuuuuuuuuuu!”
Editor: Polar Bear
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Blushing while being bashful|
|2.||↑||Japanese game term – max value|