Falma de Médicis was the second-born son of Archduke Bruno .
Unlike Pilule who was the eldest son and the heir to the de Médicis family, Falma would become the household Royal Court Apothecary in the future . So his father, Bruno, raised him in a very strict manner since childhood . It was so that Falma could withstand the heavy responsibilities of a full-fledged Royal Court Apothecary with sense of fulfillment .
He was allowed to handle dangerous medical herbs, and be in situations where he could get burned .
Falma would get so exhausted from his training in Divine Arts, that lasted from morning to evening, he ended up crying because he wanted to play .
It reached the point where he was already afraid to look straight into his father’s eye .
It was not a whip of love anymore, Bruno inadvertently became very strict to his own son . Therefore, his father stopped guiding Falma directly and left the training for pharmacology and Divine Arts to Eleonore Bonnefoy, Bruno’s most reliable and excellent disciple . Eleonore seemed to have trained him well . For the past several years, Bruno wasn’t able to directly keep an eye to Falma’s growth .
An apothecary tended to be close to the lives of their patient . Since it was most necessary for an apothecary to have an empathizing heart than skills .
It was the sincere face to face interaction with the patient that granted belief . Bruno neglected to make any effort to understand his son’s heart . Even in regards to his son’s thoughts or dreams .
Bruno didn’t know Falma very well .
Though, he still realized that the boy in front of him wasn’t the Falma he knew .
Bruno couldn’t remember when the change happened . He was deeply ashamed of it .
Bruno took out a notebook from Falma’s bag which was beside him . He flipped through the pages . Falma was separated by a wall of ice so he couldn’t stop his father from checking his notebook .
Bruno went pale .
Falma wrote down his notes in Japanese so nobody could read it . He regretted his blunder that his notes in the process of examining stained samples were unexpectedly snatched away . . Though, it didn’t change anything as his father couldn’t read Japanese . He also began to take all kinds of records of this world like the medical records of the servants he examined and the medication records . He also graphed a lot of examination data . Mathematical and chemical structural formulas would look like a cipher that resembles some kind of magic in his father’s eye .
“I will say it again . Who are you!”
In this world, there was a legend of a Changeling (child that was swapped) . There was something like an evil spirit that will stealthily swap children . The swapped child was considered to be a child of a monster and not of a human . He suspected that Falma was a changeling because of the strange characters that was written and the use of Divine Arts without a wand . There was also a legend that if a changeling was discovered by a human, it would disappear into thin air .
He thought about risking his son’s life, but it wasn’t his son anymore that would disappear .
“This writing, what is it? this, and this, and this! Where did you learn this!”
“I acquired this knowledge of medicine in a dream I saw, on the day I was struck by the lightning, as well as the written characters . ”
Falma cooked up an explanation, and his father bought it . It wasn’t necessarily a lie if he described his previous life as an event in a dream . If Falma didn’t explain, it would be troublesome if he was asked where he learned it, or what book it was written in as those could be searched .
“It was during the lightning strike huh?”
“Yes it was . ”
In the dim compounding room, Falma took off his coat in order to show the scars on both arms . His father clearly saw it through the transparent ice wall .
“……The medicine god dwells in you . ”
How did this happen? what kind of person was he? Falma doesn’t even know if he was still human . Because Falma had become silent since then, it indirectly transmitted to his father, and he affirmed it .
“I see . ”
Unlike the father who had been striving day and night on the way of medicine, the son was blessed by the medicine god . His father didn’t have any choice but to follow the will of the guardian deity whom he couldn’t stop to love and respect .
“Dear father, please use this potion for her majesty . This is special medicine . ”
If it was said that Bruno compounded the potion and the treatment succeeded, his honor would be maintained . He would also keep his position as the Royal Court Apothecary and would gain the favor of the Empress . Even if Falma didn’t meddle, it was better for his father to do so .
“You administer the medicine you made, Falma . ”
His father shook his head a little bit to decline and solemnly told him .
“That is the pride and responsibility of an apothecary . The patient believed you because you staked your life for the medicine that they receive . ”
Falma thought that his father was a true Apothecary . He truly realized how immature he had been .
“I understand . ”
Falma cancelled the ice wall with his right hand, held the potion, and went past his father out of the compounding room . He left a word to his father when passing by .
“Please leave it to me, father . I’m going to save you and her Majesty . ”
This kind of tone was something his father had never heard from Falma before .
It was not the words of an arrogant boy, but he heard it like it was the words of a god .
Bruno bowed his head in silence, then fell down on his knees .
How could he stop Falma anyway?
Falma, with the potion in hand, appeared before the empress .
The empress was sitting up impatiently waiting for Falma to return . She held great expectations . She mustered her last drop of energy to return from the edge of death back to the land of the living .
“You’re late, her Majesty had been waiting . What happened to your father? Did he run away?”
The chief court physician, Claude, tattled . Claude thought that because Bruno wasn’t able to make a proper medicine, he didn’t consider the boy capable of any better . This was not child’s play . Claude was irritated that Bruno didn’t come back immediately and euthanize the Empress .
“I don’t mind that it took time, come closer . ”
The Empress called Falma to come close . Since Falma was wearing a mask, he was spared from airborne infection . He approached without hesitation .
“For your information, my father did not run away . My father and I compounded this medicine for her Majesty . This is a new medicine, your Majesty . ”
Falma had honored the work my father had done as an Apothecary until now, that was what I had conveyed to them .
Unsteadily walking over, Bruno appeared at that moment . The group of physicians looked at him with contempt for his inability to remonstrate his son’s intrusion but Bruno no longer wanted to stop Falma .
Besides, there was no way for him to stop Falma anyway .
Whatever Falma did with his hands from now on, Bruno would engrave it into his memory .
“Before I explain the efficacy of the new medicine, I want to show something to your Majesty . Will you cooperate for a moment?”
Falma held out a palm-sized metal tool respectfully before the Empress .
“What… is this?”
The Empress picked it up while ruminating . It was a small metal instrument . Falma once again took a sample of the Empress’ phlegm and stained it on the glass plate, he then set it on the metal plate of the instrument .
“Please observe the bodily fluids that I took from your Majesty with the instrument . Then, please look at the hole from a bright place… Like this . ”
He opened the needle sized hole on the instrument and urged the Empress to bring her eyes close to it and peep through . Falma asked the chamberlain to open the window for ventilation and bring a lamp . The lamp was then placed below the instrument to guarantee some light .
The Empress was skeptical as she peeped .
“What is that? Are you mocking her Majesty!?”
The Chief Court Physician, Claude, shook his voice in anger .
“Wait, don’t be so noisy . ”
The Chief Court Physician kept his mouth shut . The Empress’ attention was already absorbed on the small instrument…
And then .
“I see something visible . ”
Falma could magnify his view with the[Diagnosis Eye]
, but it lacked details on the object .
Science could prove the existence of tuberculosis bacteria .
He had invited the Empress to the micro-world which no one from this world had seen yet .
What Falma had presented was a simple microscope with the simplest structure that had a pinhole, a glass ball, and piece of metal . The single lens microscope was the invention of Leeuwenhoek, it had sufficient performance even if it doesn’t have a good lens . An electrical system was not necessary at all, there are no lens tube as it was just a lens on a metal plate with a specimen holder, it was simple and very small at 5 cm .
Don’t underestimate the power of antiques . During Falma’s previous life, he was able to identify disease causing germs in countries without electricity, the microscope had about 200x resolution . You couldn’t say that the magnification was sufficient, but it had minimum performance .
The image that the simple mechanism showed unveiled the clear truth .
“Your majesty, do you know that rod like thing that keeps wriggling?”
Falma drew its shape in the air with his finger .
It was the mycobacterium tuberculosis .
Mycobacterium tuberculosis .
Preventive measures are taken in Japan by vaccinating infants with BCG vaccine .
“That creature is the cause of the White Fatal Disease (tuberculosis) . This organism is destroying your body, your Majesty . ”
It was at that moment that all the people in the room knew that organisms called bacteria existed in this world .
“Everyone, please look at the instrument after her Majesty is done . ”
The court physicians were fighting to look into the microscope . Until that time, the court physician thought that the smallest thing was what could only be seen by bringing it close to the eye . To their suprise, there was a world which couldn’t be seen by the naked eye . It was a fact that they couldn’t easily accept .
“Wha- what are these! Insects!?”
Claude twitched his face when he saw something repulsive wriggling .
“If necessary, I will create a blueprint and will also teach you how to build it . ”
Falma didn’t have the intention to monopolize the microscope . With it, they would have a deeper understanding about the microorganism if they apply medical science .
“It should be noted that this is not a divine skill . ”
Bruno’s hands were trembling when he peeped into it .
“What in the…”
He was lost for words . Humans were now allowed to peek at the world that only gods could see, that was the impression Bruno had . His whole body was overwhelmed by an unknown excitement .
Falma started to speak when everybody was observing the tuberculosis bacteria . He then prepared another slide glass with the tuberculosis bacteria sample, that was stained, that he set aside earlier .
The atmosphere had changed completely .
“I will now explain the treatment plan from here on out . ”
Falma quickly took out the syrup and showed it to the Empress .
“As you have surmised, that organism is living inside the body of her majesty, the treatment is to completely kill it . ”
In the presence of the Empress, the line of renowned court physicians froth at their mouth from too much shock . Bruno dropped down to his knees .
“This potion contains four types of special medicine . Each part of the medicine will prevent the organism from propagating and some parts of the drug will kill that organism . If it’s only one type, some of the organisms may be resistant to the medicine . Therefore . I used multiple medicines . ”
When Falma immersed the organism into the medicine, they saw it perish . Falma explained it while inserting a joke that they might be able to hear its death throes .
“These 4 types of special medicine will intensively kill the disease in 2 months . ”
“And I will provide additional treatments afterwards by reducing the prescription to 2 types . ”
“Since your Majesty’s case is severe, it may require additional dosage . ”
“You have just overturned a concept of conventional medicine from its roots with that explanation . ”
The Empress was also very surprised .
The court physicians didn’t say anything, but they also were just as surprised as the Empress .
They had gained knowledge beyond the conventional wisdom that they had .
“Will taking such strong medicine harm the body?”
“There’s little effect on the body but there is concern for side effects . Mainly it would be a liver dysfunction . I will closely monitor the treatment for it . I will divide the compounded potion, I will first drink half of it, and you will drink the other half . Can I have your majesty’s decision after you see it?”
Falma had to do this to dispel any doubt of assassination or the medicine being fake .
“Will you agree to it?”
“Yes, by all means, let me drink it . ”
The Empress showed a cheerful face towards Falma . Her mind was fully set at ease as all of her fears and anxieties were eliminated, even though she was still seriously ill . The imperial prince also stopped crying .
“The symptoms will improve soon . But it will take at least 6 months for full recovery . ”
In 6 months, without the treatment, she wouldn’t not be able to survive that long . In a situation where there was no cure… his father had nothing to say . Thus,they had no other recourse .
“So that means, it takes time, I understand . ”
She had observed the tuberculosis bacteria, as the empress realized that her whole body was infected by it, her understanding and curiosity had deepened .
Carefully over time, it wouldl kill the bacteria slowly, that is to say it would not instantly kill all of it, but there wouldn’t be any bacteria remaining . She was able to understand the explanation of Falma .
“Your majesty, you will to drink this everyday in my presence . ”
It was effective to administer the medicine right in the presence of the attending physician, so that there wouldn’t be a situation where she forgot to take the medicine .
Falma had to patiently continue to treat the tuberculosis of the patient .
Just because her symptoms improved, it didn’t mean that she could stop taking the medicine .
Falma poured the potion from the flask into the 3 test tubes evenly .
Then, Falma gulped down the first one to show it was not poison .
“If you will, your Majesty . ”
“Yes . ”
When the empress drank it until the last drop, her haggard face smiled .
“That was delicious . ”
The empress then gently fell asleep, Falma wrote down a medical record in Japanese for the new patient in his book .
“Dear father, let’s return back to the mansion . I’m hungry now and I want to eat something sweet today . ”
His father felt anxious as Falma had said it in a childish way .
“Also, this medicine is for you, dear father . That is… if you feel like receiving it . ”
Falma handed over the the last test tube of medicine to his father .
His father, who was infected by tuberculosis, received it after hesitating for a long time .
“From now on, White Fatal Disease can be cured . ”
It was no longer an incurable disease . They would now live together with this new method of medicine .
The father grasped the hand of the son, who spoke with reliable words, with both of his hands .
“Thank you, my son . ”
Lotte, Ellen and the servants were waiting at the gate of the de Médicis family residence for many hours after the sun went down . The dinner that was already prepared had cooled down, but no one had touched it .
The father and son hadn’t come back yet from the Empress’ palace .
Nobody knew the condition of the empress aside from the Royal Court Apothecary, everyone could only guess at that time if an accident happened along the way .
Ellen had considered one possibility .
If they both failed in the treatment, they might have taken responsibility and killed themselves . In the occasion that the empress died, the Chief Royal Court Apothecary which acted as the lead physician and the Chief Court Physician would kill themselves together to take responsibility . Bruno was a proud Royal Court Apothecary so his sense of responsibility was very strong . It was a possible scenario .
“Milord… Master Falma . ”
Ellen removed her glasses,while in tears as she assumed the worse case scenario . Lotte was grasping the vial of medicine that was given by Falma and made into an amulet .
Just how much longer are they going to wait? Every minute felt like an eternity .
Everyone was waiting for their return . Lotte suddenly raised her face as she happened to hear the faint sound of a trumpet echoing over the mountain .
After that, they started to clearly hear the sounds of horses hooves . As the rhythm became louder, the knight’s horses could now be seen from the mansion . Lotte suppressed a lot of her emotions, as she felt her tears flow out .
“Milord, master Falma–!”
Lotte ran up to them at full speed .
“Thank goodness… really . Jeez, don’t make us worry anymore…”
Ellen held on to her glasses firmly as she followed behind Lotte .
“We’re home . ”
Falma caught Lotte as she jumped to him as soon as he got off from his horse .
“Welcome back . ”
Thus, the upheaval of today’s events had come to a close .