Hart, who was unmoved, glared fiercely at Patrick for a moment, as if he didn’t even want to talk about it.
The child’s eyes drooped as he listened to the adults’ conversation.
Hart’s face hardened at the sight.
The child looked no more than six years old.
‘And yet, the moment I found out she was Laura’s daughter, I thought she was mine.’
If this was Hart’s daughter, she had to be seven years old.
While Hanelope was making the medicine, he looked up the birth record, but she wasn’t. According to the record, the child was only five years old. Unless there was an error, Laura who had left him, married another man and gave birth.
‘Something as tiny as a small potato doesn’t look seven years old to me.’
Still, he felt ridiculous for being mistaken.
‘No. It must have been an illusion, caused because of missing Laura.’
How I wished it was my child!
Hart’s heart throbbed in his chest.
Suddenly, Philen frowned.
He didn’t know who Laura Koch was, but he didn’t like where this was going.
“How old is she? She’s barely old enough to talk. How would she make a drug! It’s obviously a scam.”
“Does it really matter how old she is? For all I know, there are five-year-old among your apprentices.”
Philen was startled at Hart’s words.
He was taking young orphans and using them for all sorts of dirty work, including making medicine, under the guise of apprenticeship.
“Th- That, but how did a child know how to concoct an antidote where even the most experienced and accomplished physicians couldn’t?”
“Experienced and brilliant physicians? That’s right, old and useless physicians like you.”
Hart’s words finally shut Philen up.
The Emperor had spared no effort on Philen, asking him to create an antidote. But the results were null.
Even so his stomach couldn’t stop churning in displeasure.
‘Didn’t it mean Philen is no better than a child?’
He was of the most distinguished persons in the empire.
Though he had once been demoted for stealing medicines which were meant to be distributed to the poor, he become the Imperial physician on Asta’s recommendation.
“To me, how dare you…..!”
Philen glared at the child with rosy and puffy cheeks.
The child blinked her beady pink eyes repeatedly, frightened by the hostility of the adults.
It was odd to see her being so close to the most dangerous man in the room, Hart von Reinhardt.
‘I don’t know who’s behind that kid! She could deceive the Duke, but she won’t be able to fool me. I know those sort of tricksters well. Lazy commoners looking for opportunities to suck the lifeblood out, clinging to nobles like leeches!’
Philen asked in disdain.
“Child, do you know what is ‘Odopolsen’?”
Her round eyes widened. Philen muttered to himself.
‘There’s no way that kid knows what an ‘Odopolsen’ is.’
Odopolsen was the most basic of antidotes.
Even civilians used it to rid their body toxins in everyday life. But the stupid commoners didn’t realize that it was Odopolsen.
‘How could you make an antidote to awaken a saint when you don’t even know the basics?’
The child only pouted her small, thin lips.
I’m going teach her a lesson.
Philen made a stern expression, but the child opened her lips.
“Odopolsen is red bell flower. It’s mostly used to cure stomachache ache from eating too much food.”
Hanelope’s face looked like asking ‘why are you asking me such an easy thing?’
Philen was taken aback.
‘How does that kid know that?’
Odopolsen was the technical term for the red bell flower. That is, one could not know unless he studied pharmacy.
Philen bit his lip.
‘As her mother was a physician, she must’ve heard it from somewhere.’
Philen did not give up.
“Then you must have heard of ‘Gareth Cream’ too?”
You will never know as much as this.
‘Gareth Cream is a gastro tract protective agent. It is generally used together with this antidote. If this is not used, the previously applied antidote won’t work on the stomach problem.’
In the past, ‘Bakpul’, which has a gastro protective effect, had been used.
Then, a few years ago, a doctor discover this potent herb for the same issue.
However, it was expensive and not everyone could use it. For that reason, some physicians use cheap pirated drugs.
‘There’s no way the kid knows this.’
As expected, the child’s face grew serious.
His round cheeks were puffed, and his tiny mouth even sighed with a ‘huu’.
“You still don’t know..…”
“It’s not ‘Gareth Cream’, it’s ‘Gareth Kream’, Uncle, you don’t know anything, you need to study more.”
The child said as if he was pathetic.
Philen’s face turned bright red as he was being embarrassed by the child in front of everyone.
“Wh-What nonsense! This kid.. Are you’re going to lie in front of adults? If you don’t know something, you should be honest and come clean!”
Agitated Philen looked like as if he would hit the child in any moment.
The frightened child hid behind Hart’s leg.
Hansen, another Imperial physician, stopped him.
“Philen, calm down.”
“How can I calm down, Lord Hansen, even if it’s just a child, how dare…..!”
“Kream isthe correct one.”
“It’s ‘Gareth Kream’, not ‘Gareth Cream’. ‘Gareth Cream’ is used as the name of a pirated drug.”
Hansen looked at Philen sternly.
“Are you still using pirated drugs, is that what got you confused?”
“Gareth cream doesn’t have the stabilizing properties like the other one, so it has a lot of side effects. Use the real thing whenever possible.”
Philen was so ashamed his eyes went black.
Patrick, who was watching, muttered.
“Well, you’re smart for a third-tier.”
The child holding Hart’s pants shuddered.
She seemed shocked by the sharp assessment of being a third tier.
Patrick smirked and continued.
“Theory and practice aren’t the same thing, but I’ll take your word for it. Brother Hart and I’ve been in Laura’s debt before, so I can trust her skills.”
Even Patrick was on the child’s side, and Hansen didn’t object.
Hart carefully fed Asta the orange diluted pills Hanelope had made.
Philen, who had come to his senses late, stammered.
“Sigh, it won’t work.”
“Shut up and wait.”
For some reason, Philen who felt sudden confidence after all this humiliation, was immediately overpowered by Hart.
“What happens if this child causes harm to Lady Asta?”
Patrick’s eyes lit up with interest.
“Well, what is your opinion?”
“Even a child has to take responsibility for the lies he tells. Don’t you think she should be punished? We should cut off her hands, so she can never make medicine again.”
Hearing those words, the child gasped and hid hands behind her hips.
Philen’s momentum suddenly rose.
“It’s too late to regret it now, child. So why would you dare to lie in front of the Imperial physicians..…”
“And what will the physician do if the saint wakes up?”
The child’s words made Philen blush, as if he had been caught off guard.
The child looked up at Hart and said.
“Even if you’re an Imperial physician, you should be punished! I’ll cut off your head so you can’t say anything bad again.”
The child’s voice chirped like a sparrow, but the words were firm.
Hart raised one corner of his mouth in disbelief.
Patrick and Hansen, on the other hand, looked at the kid with curiosity.
Only Philen went on a rampage.
“How dare you! You little! Who do you think you are to make such a demand!”
The child only snorted.
“Look at that, look at those disrespectful eyes! You spoilt brat, who do you think I am?”
“Philen, behave yourself. As an Imperial physician, you should keep your behavior in check.”
Hansen tried to soothe him, but it was no use.
Philen was confident.
He didn’t know when Asta would wake up, but he was sure the child wouldn’t be able to wake her up.
‘I already knew it ! I knew that there is no antidote that can wake the saint!’
“Neither I or Hansen could wake her up, and you think your fake antidote will wake her up? Where are you going with this scam? We’ll see, and I’ll make sure you never get cocky again……!”
It was then. Asta, who had been sleeping soundly, frowned and groaned at the noise.
Pairs of eyes in the room turned to the groaning Asta.
Vibrant blue eyes blossomed over her glossy white face.
The room erupted in shock and joy.
“The Saint has awakened!”
“Asta, are you all right?”
“Lady, can you hear me?”
As Hansen shouted, and Hart and Patrick called for Asta in unison.
Philen became contemplative.
Asta looked around in confusion.
“What happened? Why was I asleep here?”
Everyone was stunned & at a loss.
Only the child smiled, as if everything had gone according to plan.
Asta blinked innocently.
“What’s going on? Why am I here?”
“Asta, do you remember anything?”
Hart asked in a soothing tone.
I almost vomited in disgust.
‘I didn’t know he even had a voice like that.’
I felt betrayed.
“.….I remember losing consiousness after eating a cookie with Prince Hart.”
“Those cookies were poisoned.”
“Oh my God, poison!”
Asta covered her mouth with her hands in horror.
“Something was wrong with them, but the substance is still unidentified.”
The sobbing Asta felt so pitiful that anyone would have wanted to hug her.
“How did I survive after eating such a horrible thing, and did both your highness save me?”
Hart and Patrick didn’t know how to explain.
Strangely, Asta looked as if she knew it would happen.
Instead of looking at the two unresponsive men, she looked at Philen, with a instructive gesture.
It was as if she was saying, ‘Now it’s your turn to say the lines’.
But right now, Philen was in a state where he couldn’t speak even if he had ten mouths.
Asta looked at Philen, puzzled that he wasn’t following the script.
Then the Imperial physician named Hansen spoke up.
“This kid here made the Saint’s antidote. She said her mother was a skilled physician.”
“No? How could it be?”
Asta’s expression twisted.
- Author used 크림 (cream), 그림 (grim/gream) respectively indicating slight difference of pronunciation between the counterfeit & original medicine. To show the subtle change I went with C & K.
- Bakpul- a thin grass.