The Apprentice to a Royal Court Apothecary: Falma de Medicis
Fanfare resounded in the mansion.
“Is something starting?”
“It is time to eat, Falma-sama”
Lotte called out to him in a hurry.
“I’m getting hungry. Will you come and eat, Lotte?”
Anyone would get hungry not matter what they did.
“After the Master is done, it’s time for the servants to eat”
“I got it!”
It’s Lotte’s growth period so she needed to eat dinner early. So, he hurried on.
Falma checked the faces of the family members who had gathered on the dining room for the first time.
“You’re up. I sent you to bed since you were sleeping.”
“Yes, I’m sorry to have caused you worry.”
The first one to greet Falma, was a man with a blond beard and blue eyes. The person was tall and lean with a sharp glint in his eyes. It was the master of the mansion and the father of Falma, Bruno de Médicis, 37 years old.
He was a Royal Court pharmacist who did medical examination and prescribed medicine to generations of royalty and nobles. He also served s as the president of San Flueve Royal School of Pharmaceutics in the Royal Capital. He was a user of Divine Art of Water.
An excellent aristocrat with special skill in this world, the title of “Archduke” was bestowed unto him. The ranks were Archduke, Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, and Baron.
In other words, those with the rank of Archduke were grand nobles.
“It’s good that you have recovered”
A lady with silver hair, blue eyes, and a neat demeanor, called out to him. It was his mother, Beatrice, 34 years old. She came from a prestigious family of users of Divine Art of Wind.
A young woman who had blue eyes, curly blonde hair that reached her waist, and was full of charm called out to Falma. It was his younger sister Blanche, 4 years old. Although young, she was a master of Divine Art of Water, just like her father.
She had a pretty face for her tender age. Falma was convinced that she would definitely become beautiful in the future.
By the way, his elder brother who was away at the moment was Pilule, 16 years old. He was an elder brother whom Falma sympathized in regards to their names, an elite student in the most advanced pharmaceutical university which was located in the far foreign land, the Nova Root Pharmaceutical University. Since the rule was for all students to live in the dormitory, he only came home twice a year.
Having met the family, he sat at the big table of the large dining room.
His father prepared a porcelain basin for hand washing on top of the table, and poured clear water out using Divine Art of Water.
His younger sister ,Blanche, poured water on his basin, and also filled his mother’s basin. Even though his mother was a noble, the elemental attribute was different so it’s the daughter’s job to produce water.
Falma kept calm as the water in the basin in front of him was poured. He then washed his hands.
Bread, knife and spoon were placed on top of the tablecloth. Blanche said the prayers to the gods, the family recited it, and the meal started.
(Ah, the meal is unexpectedly delicious)
It started with chicken cordon bleu with plenty of spices, then wild rabbit stew was served. Falma obeyed what Lotte said about table manners, and tried to eat slowly. Because he regretted the time where he was only eating something like CalorieMate, his poor tongue very much served its purpose in this parallel world.
(I had worked too much and hadn’t eaten a decent meal)
He savored the taste of the parallel world while chewing each mouthful with relish.
“So Falma. Is there still numbness in your body? Being struck by lightning…….”
The dinner had just started, and Falma’s mother was immediately anxious about him.
Incidentally, the mother was the only one who was fond of wine in the family. The father was drinking water as he prepared for house calls from patients. The water he had made himself was very pure. He squeezed a lemon and the fragrance diffused through the air.
“My memory is just a little bit hazy. But I’ll be able to remember it soon, so you don’t have to worry, dear mother”
Falma answered calmly. Lotte had told him to use polite language to his parents, and to call them ‘dear father’ and ‘dear mother’. As it should be for a 2nd son of a grand noble.
“However, you survived by a hair’s breadth. Your heart pulse stopped completely; it seems that the potion I gave you after you were struck by the lightning worked”
The father interjected with satisfaction. It seemed to have increased his confidence in his skills as a pharmacist. Falma had had a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing, so the father had administered the potion orally. Falma almost choked his food; it was a good thing that good he hadn’t choked
(Well, perhaps the potion was very effective)
He thought about it, but he had seen the formulation written in the book so there’s no reason to doubt it.
Since the original Falma was a quiet and calm person, it was necessary to behave the same, so as not to expose the real him.
He began to think about what had happened to the original Falma. Because they had said that he had died once due to the lightning, perhaps the original memory would disappear. He felt like running away when he thought about it. He had taken over that body, and felt guilty about doing so.
But the original Falma had died already, and his ego had disappeared.
He held a memorial service in his mind, and decided to live up for the original Falma’s sake.
The pharmacologist and the original Falma had merged into one mind.
“However, if your memory is vague, I will be worried. I will take care of you so you don’t have to stress yourself. If there is something troubling you, just say it. If there is anything you want to eat, I’ll have them make it for you”
Compared to the domineering father, the compassionate mother was more pleasant.
“Yes, thank you dear mother. I’m happy that you said it”
After his mother exchanged a word or two with Falma, she didn’t feel some strange feeling that Falma’s personality had changed. Falma thought about it too. Anyhow, having heard from Lotte the usual attitude and tone of the original Falma proved to be fortunate.
“You should rest in bed for a few days. Will you be able to join in the next house call?”
After the father was done eating, he wiped his mouth with a napkin and recalled that he needed to remind Falma of that. Falma forced a smile, but he didn’t know what the father was referring to. The father then guessed that Falma’s memory was still vague, so he added.
“It’s her Majesty’s house call”
“I remember now. I will go with you”
An apprentice pharmacist must train by seeing the work of the mentor who was part of the job of the Royal Pharmacist. Even though the original Falma was only 10 years old, he usually helped his father during medical examinations.
House call for the royalty and nobles were usually important, but this time, it’s the highest status from among his father’s patients. This was no ordinary person.
When he said her Majesty, he meant the empire of San Flueve, her Majesty Elizabeth II.
(This is a big job)
Falma cowered at the thought of what kinds of medicine would be prescribed to the empress. He prayed that he wouldn’t be hanged if the treatment failed.
“By the way, about the ointment that was used recently on both of your burnt arms, what were the ingredients and compounding methods of Geolade?”
It appeared. That was the surprise pharmacology question that Lotte was talking about!
“The main ingredient of the herbs are; Tin Pyrite from Lahara region, oil concoction from Katesso, eye of a lizard, and powdered wing of the Full-moon Night Bat. The method is to boil it in holy water for 1 night while offering a prayer to purify it, dry it the next day under the sun for 3 days, then ground it to fine dry powder.”
Having no time to think, the information from the book he had read earlier smoothly came out from Falma’s mouth. He imitated the way the original Falma recited from memory.
Although he instinctively blurted out the compounding method, he felt ashamed as a pharmacologist with a doctorate degree from modern Japan.
However, it couldn’t be helped; he had to do it this way.
It would be troubling if he got kicked out of the mansion.
“You remembered. You are truly my son”
His father nodded in great satisfaction without knowing the real circumstances. By the way, because the suspicious ointment would develop a rash or inflammation if contact with the skin was prolonged, a shorter duration was the correct solution. In that respect, he quickly wiped off the medical herb, and washed the arm in clean water. The satisfied father didn’t knew he had done so.
“All right. Since there are no particular problems in your physical condition, can you resume going back to Eleonora’s lecture tomorrow?”
(It’s a person I don’t know)
He later got the information from Lotte,
The top pharmacist disciple of his father, and the tutor of Falma.
“You’re suspicious. You’re absolutely suspicious. It’s like you’re a different person”
The woman in front of Falma drew shapes with her fingers on the table as she murmured those words.
Falma winced at the voice of the young lady sitting across him.
She was Falma’s private tutor, and the top disciple of his father, a pharmacist with top class beauty, Eleonora Bonnefoy, 16 years old. Her lustrous silver hair parted onto both sides, giving her a cool impression. She wore a tight, long matte textured, light sky-blue dress skirt, with a daring slit that emphasized her every move. Her shoulder was completely bare.
He was too embarrassed to look at her ample bust ]when her hands were crossed under it.
(That dress is too liberal. She has glasses even!)
If this world was equivalent to medieval Europe, Falma had assumed that the clothing culture would be more appropriate for that era, but it did not seem necessarily so. Indeed, the de Medicis family wore medieval conservative clothing. If anything, her attire was casual for a fantasy world; it was indeed a parallel world. And Falma was admiring her.
“Is that so? You’re just imagining it!”
“You’re too formal. Using honorifics”
Falma regretted that he hadn’t learned the conversation pattern with Ellen. Because it was a student-teacher relationship, he had assumed he needed to use honorifics.
(How to speak to her. Should I act like being too friendly with a teacher character?)
The meeting place with Eleonora was on a riverbank that flowed along the premises of the mansion. Located in the center of a garden was a western style gazebo made of white stone. The sunlight was blocked by the domed roof, and the wind blowing over the garden was comfortable and pleasant.
Two people sat across each other on benches separated by the round table in the gazebo. It was a spaceconducive for outdoor learning.
The place was a herbal garden owned by his father. Falma was worried that the herbal garden in the riverbank might be swept by a flood, but because the de Medicis family was full of Divine Art of Water users, his father uses the art to prevent the river from overflowing to the herbal garden. Thieves targeted that place because expensive medicinal plants were grown there. Of course, to prevent the property of de Medicis family from being stolen, nighttime security systems of the herbal garden were flawless. It was such a herbal garden. Falma was looking around the herbal garden while waiting a while ago, and he had seen a familiar herb from his original world. He found out later that it was a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. There were also unknown herbs unique to this parallel world.
“This is how I speak normally, Eleonora-sensei”
Was it OK to Eleonora to be called that way? Or was it supposed to be Bonnefoy-sensei? As he was trying to think of a better way to converse, he was interrupted immediately.
“It’s Ellen you know. Still, why do you seem so different?”
“Fine, I’ll confess. My memory is somewhat hazy because I was struck by lightning”
“You should have told me earlier”
Ellen pouted while sulking after all.
“Certainly, being struck by lightning can change your personality but…… perhaps you will recover soon. You must appreciate that your life was saved”
Ellen stood up, looked at him over her shoulder, and showed a pleasant smile. That translucent smile was dazzling. She went out of the gazebo towards the river. Falma followed afterwards.
“Today’s lecture is not a pharmaceutical lecture, it’s to check your Divine Skills”
Ellen asked Falma if he remembered all the Divine Skills (Divine Art Techniques).
Ellen had taught the original Falma many Divine Arts.
He seemed to be an excellent student with good intuition.
“I wonder if it’s possible to make water and pour it on the cup”
When Falma said so jokingly, Ellen held her brow.
“It is a fact that I don’t remember everything”
With writing tools in Falma’s hands, he listened attentively to Ellen’s lecture.