The One Possessed by Evil Spirit Left the Cage
Falma de Médicis, shop owner of the Diversis Mundi Pharmacy and the Royal Court Apothecary, was the first member of the Pharmacy Guild and also the de facto Guild Master. Apricum per Foliis Pharmacy was renovated after two months.
Now, the remodeled Apricum per Foliis Pharmacy was a pure white shop, a complete makeover from it’s previous state. There was no rush in opening, so they decided to take their time. The shop owner, Pierre, featured a curving mustache, a fresh hair-cut, a neatly sewn white medical gown with a nameplate and a badge signifying his status as an authorized seller. Starting from today, he will sell new medicines in cooperation with Diversis Mundi Pharmacy. He learned the knowledge on how to use the medicines, and the craft of customer service. He also learned business management. He had learned all the things that was necessary.
Knight Guards in plain clothes were dispatched from Diversis Mundi Pharmacy, their order was to guard this shop with scrutiny.
This was to prevent any potential thefts of the medicine and to hamper the potential harassments from the Apothecary Guild.
Apricum per Foliis Pharmacy sold a variety of things; more types of cough drops than Diversis Mundi Pharmacy offered, wafers with iron and calcium, antipyretic analgesics, eye drops, and all sorts of vitamins. Diversis Mundi Pharmacy specializes in compounding sophisticated medicine for specialized patients, who were seriously ill. On the other hand, Apricum per Foliis Pharmacy aims to differentiate itself by handling colds and the flu, relatively common diseases, and nutritional supplements. The number of patients had swelled in Diversis Mundi Pharmacy, to the point that it became too much to handle for both Falma and Ellen, which resulted in patients not getting examined. A decision was made to move some of the medicines to be sold at Apricum per Foliis Pharmacy.
A few days ago, to improve PR, leaflets were spread out, indicating that Diversis Mundi Pharmacy had opened a new pharmacy which they recognized as a business partner. Patients who had relatively mild symptoms with their chronic disease would be sent to Apricum per Foliis Pharmacy.
“Ah, finally. I wonder what would happen today.”
Pierre suddenly became anxious, wondering if any customers would come. Will the customers come from Diversis Mundi Pharmacy since they were selling almost the same medicine? Will he be okay without Falma?
Will he be able to manage properly? Will he be able to explain the effects of the new medicine?
His anxiety just went on. The other day, Pierre couldn’t sleep a wink.
But, how about just open it now?
Outside the gate of Apricum per Foliis Pharmacy, many visitors had lined up before the opening that it covered the whole alley.
Pierre sniffed as he opened the gates with trembling hands, and bowed to the customers deeply.
“Welcome to Apricum per Foliis Pharmacy.”
After that, Pierre was entrusted by Falma and was inaugurated as the Guild Master of the Pharmacy Guild. The new Guild Master Pierre was so dissatisfied with the way that the Apothecary Guild conducted business that he personally recruited apothecaries who were on the brink of closing due to poor sales, and increased the members of the Pharmacy Guild to seven.
All pharmacies of the Pharmacy Guild were remodeled with the same process: large open gates, thoroughly clean, and an ingenious plan to serve the patients.
The apothecaries who came to handle the new medicines from the Pharmacy Guild were lively, content, and motivated.
After all, the formulation they learned from the two months of training from Falma showed that those medicines were indeed effective.
Medicine that would be effective for everyone!
Previously, this was an uncommon occurrence.
To work or not to work, such things were almost like gambling based on rules learned through experience. It was not unusual for a pharmacy to be set on fire or an apothecary to be murdered for selling expensive medicine that was not effective. Because of theft, the risk in being resented, and exaggerated large sums of reparations, medicine costs inevitably rose. Commoner physicians and apothecaries were like moneylenders, it was a corrupt business that was hated.
However, after reopening the remodeled pharmacies that were owned by the members of the Pharmacy Guild, they had an increase in repeat customers.
The patients trusted the apothecaries with words of gratitude, as the apothecaries prescribed medicine tailored for the patient.
Even without being greedy, profits came in.
“Thanks to Master Falma’s benevolence, I don’t feel guilty towards the patients anymore.”
Pierre thanked Falma when they came across each other. It was also thanks to that day when his daughter was suffering from influenza and the nearby clinic of Doctor Donald.
Let us build a bronze statue of Master Falma for his service in the entrance hall of the Pharmacy Guild, was what Pierre enthusiastically proposed during a regular meeting, but sadly, Falma personally rejected it.
Meanwhile in Diversis Mundi Pharmacy.
“Seems like Master Falma is getting busier…”
Lotte looked worried as she was looking at Falma that fell asleep while he was organizing medical records.
“Really. He is expanding the business to fast… Is it because the Medicine God dwells in the body of a child that the god was tired?”
While Ellen was looking down on the exhausted Falma, she was worried that although Falma had the ability to heal people, was there really a medicine that could heal him? Falma said that both medicine and poison wasn’t effective on his body.
If there was a medicine that could heal the Medicine God, he would surely feel some gratitude. Ellen reflected upon it, and didn’t forget to thank the Medicine God in her mind. She didn’t know if it reached him.
“Eh? What are you talking about Lady Eléonore!?”
Lotte innocently asked Ellen. Lotte believed the Falma was Falma.
“No, this is nothing. Thinking about the patients who are suffering, don’t you think it’s an injustice to leave them alone?”
Ellen was being evasive.
“At least, we should be able to do something about the procurement of materials, we want Falma to devote himself to medical treatment and compounding.”
Cedric seemed to worry about Falma too. Cedric’s knee recovered with Falma’s medicine and had been walking without a cane for a long time now.
“Despite that, there is almost nothing that little Falma cannot synthesize. I believe I can compound alone in the fourth floor laboratory, but he won’t even show me the methods or teach me. I already asked several times. Although I could help him, it’s frustrating.”
Lately, Falma was working overtime everyday. Until now, the medicines prescribed by Diversis Mundi Pharmacy was created alone by Falma using raw materials supplied by business partners. Because there are also medicines mixed with herbs supplied by the Marseille province, some compoundings are left to Ellen. Falma also works on Saturdays and Sundays, working overtime until late at night, and would come early in the morning to stay at the laboratory to produce materials for the medicine, and would accommodate off hours medical treatment for patients who took a sudden turn in their condition. That was his daily routine.
Although Falma has a wellspring of divine power that was inexhaustible, his body still gets tired.
“Did I fall asleep?”
Falma raised his half asleep face while the desk left a mark on his forehead. Lotte covered Falma’s shoulder with a stole so he won’t get cold.
“You had a long nap, did your consciousness fly off? You looked tired.”
Ellen was rubbing the mark on Falma’s forehead with her fingers.
In his previous life, he had the habit of gathering work immediately as soon as he becomes idle. And then, he was overconfident with his physical condition as a pharmacist. As a result he made a big mistake.
So although this time he should be spending his life not overworking, Falma admonishes himself for not doing it that way.
Am I working too much?
As to Falma’s daily work schedule,
- Diagnose difficult patients that Ellen can’t handle, then write a prescription and give it to Ellen
- Make raw materials to be used on medicines for Diversis Mundi Pharmacy and each member of the Pharmacy Guild, the specialty cosmetic store Medique, and the specialty Dental clinic 8020.
- Regular examination for the Empress, the Prince, and the courtiers.
As for the things that occur irregularly:
- Public health lecture hosted by the Empire.
- Management of Pharmacy Guild
- Holding of training for junior apothecaries, and distributors lecture.
- Coaching the member stores of the Pharmacy Guild.
“Hey, aside from me, you should increase the apothecary in Diversis Mundi Pharmacy, why not take in an apprentice? Once you put up a system to teach the next generation, your life would become easier.”
Ellen gave such a proposal. Falma had a brain with the pharmaceutical knowledge of new medicines, and being the only one on this world was the only fatal flaw. In this situation, this put too much burden on Falma, as he felt that he was close to collapsing from the pressure on his shoulders.
“That is my intention. Because once the pharmaceutical company is done and it’s able to operate, I will begin to make chemosynthetic medicines. I also intend to do other things too.”
Soon, the pharmaceutical pharmacy will rise, so Falma was thinking of attracting local and foreign talented engineers and researchers, and will try to teach them little by little the necessary pharmaceutics to manufacture medicines.
The sales of Diversis Mundi Pharmacy, funding from the Church, financial assets of the Archduke family and funds from the Empire was all invested unsparingly to the pharmaceutical factory in Marseille Province. It was being constructed at a fast pace. Once it was constructed, it would be possible to distribute from the production base, giving Falma some extra time.
“In San Fleuve Pharmaceutical University where my teacher, Lord Bruno, is the president, have many excellent students. Even I have taken some apprentice there.”
Ellen was Bruno’s best apprentice, she was also an excellent First Class Apothecary that she had three apprentices. Because she was busy helping in the pharmacy, she didn’t pay attention to them anymore and entrusted them to Bruno, she said that he may employ them for the pharmacy.
“All right, I will talk to my father about this now.”
Since Falma became an independent Royal Court Apothecary, he thought that he was ready and it might be okay to borrow his father’s influence and position. His father also may mutually benefit from him.
“By the way, isn’t there anything else that’s necessary for the pharmaceutical factory? I should get it now before it’s too late.”
Ellen wanted to push forward the preparation much earlier.
“Sophisticated glassworks, and after that I want to hire some engineers with blacksmithing skills.”
Without the laboratory equipment for organic synthesis to make medicines, the factory won’t operate.
“Those aren’t sold anywhere?”
“Because I want to request something of unusual shape.”
In Japan, a graduates of pharmaceutics and organic chemistry have skills in simple glassworks. But, it’s not possible for them to create flasks, test tubes, adapters, funnels, condenser tubes and the likes. Professionals in the glassworks were necessary.
“Little Falma, only the best of the best engineers can realize your ideas.”
Ellen was worried. Falma would want to employ an excellent engineer so she thought he would definitely spend lavishly.
“It doesn’t need to be the best, an engineer that have high degree of workmanship will be enough.”
“There is an Archduke, who is a Medical Flame Engineer, an expert in making laboratory tools for physicians, an alchemist and an apothecary too. That person can make glassware and also metal works, and made the tools of my teacher. But doesn’t accept request from the commoners, but I think that person will take it with the connections of my teacher, Lord Bruno.”
They decided to be introduced at once using Bruno’s connections. Because it takes time to make the tools. The factory wasn’t complete yet, but if they don’t place the request now, it won’t make it in time.
“Archduke Mélodie Le Roux.”
It was a lovely name that belies a remarkable engineer.
“A female Archduke?”
When he inadvertently mumbled it, Ellen responded in shock.
“I think you should have known it, Archduke is a title bestowed to an individual person rather than the head of the family. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman.”
“Is that so…”
“That’s why it’s possible that two or more Archduke can appear in one family. Little Falma, once you become an adult, you might get the rank of Archduke.”
“That is awesome, Master Falma! Once that happens, let us have a party! With a grand feast!”
When Lotte heard that he could become an Archduke, she was in high spirits. Lotte was filled with strength when it comes to grand feast.
“Enough Lottelita, you are too hasty.”
Ellen seemed to be convinced that it has already been decided that Falma will be conferred the title of Archduke. While she was at it, Ellen expects that after Falma’s death, the Church will canonized him as the incarnation of the Medicine God or might be deified.
Archduke Mélodie Le Roux was residing in the suburbs, it seemed she had not received any work for this year. Falma and Ellen exchanged words with an old steward acting as the mediator at the entrance of a splendid castle
“Just a moment, she is resting right now since her body was ill.”
The butler wasn’t very clear with his words.
“We are apothecaries, if there are no family physician or apothecary, let us examine the body of Archduke Mélodie.”
They already came at the right place, so Falma suggested to do the medical examination.
“No, for such a reason…”
“But, isn’t her condition bad? Is there a family physician?”
Ellen approached the steward. As an apothecary, she yearns to be able to help some patients, so she ask how bad the condition was.
“Whatever the condition of Archduke Mélodie is, we will keep it a secret.”
Falma guessed that there are some complicated circumstances at the other side, so he promised to adhere to strict confidentiality.
“Well… I understand. If… If you can sincerely help Lady Mélodie, I request that you please do so. Please don’t be surprised when you see our Lady.”
They were guided to a tall circular tower in the middle of the castle. Climbing the long spiral staircase, they finally arrived at the summit.
“How come this place exists?”
No matter how you look at it, that place was a prison tower. At the center of the double-layer stone jail was a chair and the young Archduke Mélodie was restrained with a chain, crestfallen and dejected, she was sleeping. Her hands were tied behind her back, and her body was bounded tightly to the chair.
“Why is she such in a state!? What caused her to become like that!? Isn’t she a sick person!?”
Falma yelled when he saw the inhuman treatment.
“It’s not what you think, Little Falma. Look at it closely…”
Ellen felt something different, and argued against Falma.
“Lady Mélodie is possessed by an evil spirit.”
One day, Mélodie began to scream cryptic messages. Arguing and being violent towards guests, breaking things, hitting her head on the wall, and going on a rampage. Mélodie was a powerful Fire Divine Art user. When she goes on a rampage, it was said that she burnt everything.
“If there is an Inquisition, she will be subjected to torture or will be killed. That’s why…”
They had to unwillingly do this.
“But, isn’t she able to use Divine Arts? That is, she wouldn’t be able to use it if she was possessed by an evil spirit.”
Falma precisely pointed it out.
“I don’t understand it… How can the appearance of the gentle Lady Mélodie changed so much… I really hate evil spirits.”
The steward was wiping the corner of his eye.
“I want to lay her down in a comfortable position, but the bed, and even the quilt was unwittingly burned.”
Mélodie’s glossy silver hair was cut short. It was said that when she went on a rampage, her long hair was burnt.
“Is she like this all the time?”
“Not all the time. Her condition changes from day to day, when her condition is bad, she is like this… Today her condition is not good. Her using fire arts when she goes on a rampage will lead to her self destruction, so she had to be confined to this double-layered room.”
“And I assume when she does terrible things, it gets more and more worse.”
Falma asked the steward and wrote down Melodie’s medical history, age, eating habits, lifestyle, and the likes. He then activated his Diagnosis Eye. Falma suspects it might be an illness that concerns the brain.
As expected, blue lights were glowing around the brain.
Schizophrenia, nervous-breakdown type
The light turned white. When he recited several antipsychotic medicines, the light completely disappeared. The medicines were effective for schizophrenia of the violent type.
“We can cure her.”
Falma said so, while rustling inside his medicine bag.
It was common sense on this world that once possessed by an evil spirit, it cannot be cured. There was no choice but to have the Inquisition officers torture the person to exorcise the evil spirit in the Church. If it fails, it was almost impossible to recover. There were also people who lost all hope and died in the middle of torture.
“You are going to exorcise the evil spirit? With the power of the Medicine God?”
Ellen whispered to Falma.
“It’s not an evil spirit, it’s an illness. There is a cure for that.”
“That is an illness!? Are you crazy!?”
No way!, Ellen was astonished.
“It’s a mental illness. With these symptoms, if will fall under the mild category. Therefore…”
He turned towards the steward.
“Please untie her chains and let her out of the prison. Also, serve her warm food and please lay her down on the bed.”
Falma was a godsend to her since that day, as he prescribed antipsychotic medicines to her.
Falma went to Mélodie”s place almost everyday listening to her story, doing delicate counselling, and made a rehabilitation program. Little by little, Mélodie began to regain her original personality. She stopped acting violently. By the time her hair grew a bit, she became gentle, and she began to show a smile.
Now, her condition entered the recovery phase from the acute phase. Ellen said “There was really no evil spirit as it was an illness…” with an astonished face.
Mélodie, as the steward said, had a very gentle personality.
“Thank you, Lord Apothecary. I already thought that since I was possessed by the evil spirit, that it was better to just die.”
“I will do some follow-up to prevent relapse, I will prescribe an appropriate medicine if there are signs of relapse.”
“With this, I am relieved.”
Mélodie was satisfied.
“Perhaps Lord Apothecary had some business with me.”
And so, one day, Mélodie asked Falma. Because she heard from the steward that Falma asked for Mélodie as the Medical Flame Engineer. During the time he was doing treatment to her, he never mentioned about the important matter.
“If I am mentally stable, will you give me your request?”
Being told that by Mélodie, Falma handed the request form that he had prepared. At that moment, their relationship was not of a patient and an apothecary, it became a relationship between an engineer and a client.
Glasswares and metal instruments that she had never seen before were drawn on the request form. Because the dimensions, materials and methods were all there, she understood how to make them.
“I think these instruments are very difficult to make. So I understand if you can’t make these things.”
Falma was aware that it was a very hard challenge for her. It was good enough to make her aware of these things.
However, Mélodie shook her head to rebuke him.
“I will show you my best fire Divine Art and will definitely meet your demands.”
Mélodie looked at the request form and declared with self-confidence.
“All your orders will be delivered.”
Few weeks later, complex glassware to be used for organic synthesis that was requested was delivered to Diversis Mundi Pharmacy. The workmanship wasn’t inferior, it was more splendid than what Falma imagined.