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Chapter 21


The bulletin board area in the town square feels too calm today.

It seems like there are far fewer adventurers taking up quests.

For some reason, the weather’s been getting more oppressive day by day. You could say it’s even driving people out of this village.

The inn’s proprietress is in a poorer state than ever and her cough getting worse.

‘Aye, certainly... there is a remarkably smaller presence of adventurers.’

Veno agrees with me.

So it wasn’t just me then.

‘Moreover, there are more people coughing too.’

Hmm... maybe they’ve all gone to a faraway dungeon or something.

I go check the bulletin board, but there’s still quite a few requests up.

There really are fewer adventurers out and about...

The apothecary hasn’t posted anything on the board for the past few days either.

When I went over to be nosy, I found Arleaf’s dad in the back of the store, making some kind of potion.

Perhaps he got all the ingredients he needed from me.

I know Arleaf just got back too. Maybe her dad sent her away again to harvest herbs.

If not, I would’ve liked to invite her to come adventuring with me.

I wonder what she’d think of Muu.

‘I am not impressed with you showing off Muu.’

I didn’t say I was gonna show it off.

I just wanted them to get along is all.

I mean, I came to this fantasy world and was told that I had people after my head. Arleaf’s just a breath of fresh air.

But I’ll admit, it’s every guy’s dream to see a cute girl play with their pets.

‘Honestly... I am appalled and speechless.’

“I could be worse!”


Well... this village wasn’t really lively and there weren’t that many quests to begin with.

Guess there are off days too, eh? Since I had the time, I replenished my poison stock and made more varieties. I even hunted for a bit before I went home and chilled.

Night fell.

Muu and I were tending to our weapons when there was a knock at the door.


Is that the proprietress?

I answer the door.

There Arleaf stands with a troubled expression on her face.

“Arleaf? What’s wrong?”

“Sorry for visiting so late, Yukihisa.”

I invite her in.

“Something you need to talk to me about? My room’s a bit barebones but come in if you’d like.”

“Oh. Thanks.”


Upon seeing Arleaf, Muu nods to greet her.

“Good evening.”


“I have heard from my father. This must be the homunculus that you have created, Yukihisa.”

“Oh, uhh, yeah. Its name is Muu.”

News of Muu spread quick.

Arleaf looks at Muu in the eyes, sits down in front of it, and holds her hand out.

“My name is Arleaf. I’m an acquaintance of Yukihisa’s.”

Oof. Hearing “acquaintance” hurts a little.

Yeah. We’re just acquaintances. I get it.

Well... it’s not like we got to know each other well.

We’ve only chatted for a bit on my first day here, so we’re only at this stage.

“Arleaf, you were out trading with nearby villages, right?”

“That is right. I was out delivering medicines my father had made... and I was also purchasing ingredients needed to make them too.”

“What’s up then?”

Objectively, her and I are just acquaintances.

I’m quite a bit older than her too. She doesn’t really have much of a reason to visit me in my room.

If she had a request for me, she could tell the proprietress to pass on the message. But to visit me in person? I can’t think of any reason for her to.

“Right... the truth is that I have something I need to ask.”

Something you need to ask? What’s that?

‘Perhaps she has found out our true identities. We must take care of her and escape at once.’

You’re jumping to conclusions.

Veno begins detecting presence of anyone possibly nearby.

As he does that, he pings and highlights every single person close to us. Cut that out already.

“You wouldn’t happen to have a poisonous herb called Red Deathfire on you, would you? An urgent need for it arose... I have heard from my father that you venture deep into the swamplands and so I dropped by unannounced.”

Arleaf has a sullen expression on her face.


Red Deathfire? Do I have any of that?

‘Aye, you do have Red Deathfire. It is the herb that you found in the dungeon, is it not?’

“I do have some, but...”

“I-In that case, please sell it to me! However much money you ask for!”

“Uhh... it’s a pretty dangerous plant, you know? Could you at least tell me how you’ll use it?”

In any case, it’s always the apothecary buying up and using these shady herbs.

No matter how much of a good person Arleaf may seem to be, I can’t just hand over these toxic herbs over so easily.

If it’s my fault that anything bad happens, we’ll be in a world of hurt.

“As you adventurers know already, the villages around here are afflicted by an epidemic and the disease is only growing.”


Now that you mention it, the proprietress has been hacking her lungs up for a couple of days now.

I thought it was a cold, but...

I guess even the adventurers are trying to run away from it.

That’s why it was so quiet today.

“We have been trying our best to make enough medicine, but we have run out of the necessary materials... and... my mother, she’s...”

Arleaf’s hands are clenched tight, trembling. She was merely putting on a brave face earlier.

It sounds like her mom came down with the epidemic.

Her dad is frantically compounding more medicine, but I guess he doesn’t have enough ingredients.

Is that why she went out to buy and sell with the other villages?

Perhaps she needed to urgently buy medicine to fight this disease.

“Even though she looked fine three days ago...”

“She suddenly got worse...”

“I assume the proprietress of this inn caught the same disease?”

... the proprietress did get sicker recently.

It was so bad for her, she even needed Muu to help out around the inn.

“... yes. This area is usually often plagued by illnesses, but rarely is it this bad.” 𝗶n𝐧𝘳ea𝙙. 𝘤𝑜𝚖


“I understand. I’ll provide you with some Red Deathfire, but is that going to save everyone?”

Her expression doesn’t get any better after hearing my question.

“I’m afraid that wouldn’t be possible. My father says people will get better when they do. The most they can do is to leave it up to the gods.”

She answers worriedly.

Veno, Red Deathfire really can be made into medicine, right?

‘Ahh, it may be a dangerous herb, but if properly handled, it can be turned into potions. Nothing the girl said is wrong.’

That’s a relief.

Then I have no good reason to say no to her.

“I might have other herbs you may need as well. Can I lend a hand?”

Even with everything I said about being ready to leave, I’ve made this village my base of operations for a while now.

Not that I have a particular attachment to it or anything, but everybody so far has been nice to me. I hope that none of them succumb to this disease.

Arleaf’s dad is able to make the medicine as long as he’s got the ingredients, so I’ll just hang around in case he needs anything else from me.

Or maybe I should go out and harvest some more.


“Besides getting me a good rate for this room, you’ve helped me out lots already. Can’t I?”

“... okay.”

I get up from my seat and get ready to head out.

“Right now’s a good time, right?”

“Yes. Then please come with me. I’ll try asking my father.”


We made our way to Arleaf’s home posthaste.

It’s the same store as usual, but... it’s eerily quiet.

I don’t hear the sounds of Arleaf’s dad making medicine.

Taking a break maybe?

Arleaf puts a frown on her face and hurries to the back of the store.


I follow behind Arleaf to find her dad collapsed on the ground face-up.

Various ingredients lie scattered, including the marphina I’ve brought over.

‘He was saying he would prepare himself for the sickness... I see. Certainly, marphina would serve well in this compound. It should soothe even particularly bad symptoms.’

“Father! Are you alright?!”

Arleaf rushes over to carry him up.

“Ah, ahh... that you, Arleaf? Cough, cough. I d-didn’t expect the illness to get to me. Sorry, but could you get me up? I’ve gotta hurry and mix more medicine.”


“If the doctor goes down first, there’ll be no one to save the village. Cough...”

His wheezy breathing seems to aggravate his cough, but he returns to work with a determined look on his face.

He finally notices me and looks up.

“Ahh, Cohgray.”

“I might have some ingredients that would be of use to you, so I invited myself along.”

“That right? Thanks for that. Arleaf’s still fine, so I’ll get her to pay you afterwards, if that’s fine with you.”

“Th-That’s fine. Here, I heard you needed this.”

I brought out the Red Deathfire wrapped in cloth and handed it over to Arleaf’s dad.

“Ahh... with this, I can make the medicine. It... should be effective... on Bloodflower.”

‘... Bloodflower?’

Hearing the name, Veno responded.

You know something about it?

‘All humans are susceptible to this infamous contagious disease. Once acquired, the patient will develop a flower-like bruise on their chest. The petals on the flower will disappear one by one. And when all petals go, so too shall the patient. This Blossomfall, as some may call it, has a high-mortality rate.’

Whoa, hey. Contagious? This ain’t a joke!

Having been born and raised in Japan, I’ve never faced any major infectious diseases, but I know I’m in a real dangerous situation right now.

‘Aye, its infection rate is high, although it takes quite some time to succumb to Bloodflower. Only until one develop any visible symptoms is it painful and hard to treat. Some say it is a flower of blood that tells your death.’

So, it doesn’t visibly appear until the disease really gets to you.

‘This is, after all, a village near a swamp where miasma often hazes over. It is not unusual to have a few infected. With the right medicine, one can recover surprisingly quickly from it. You need not worry.’

How about dragons?

‘So what if I catch this?’

Guess you’ll be fine.

Well, since you’re a Poison Dragon, this kinda stuff can’t really affect you, right?

‘It is not out of the realm of possibility for me to fall ill, but I do not acquire diseases. Truth be told, I am quite interested whether you will or not. It is a question of life or death, after all.’

Luckily, I don’t show any signs of having Bloodflower yet.

Maybe I haven’t even caught it yet.

Even if I do have it, I have no choice but to hope Poison Absorption to work.

‘In that case, it would not be possible for you to acquire this disease.’

...? How do you know?

‘That is because—’

As Veno was just about to explain it to me, Muu calls out in a worried tone.


This must be an urgent matter.

Muu looks up towards me.

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