Sunday, August 14, 2016

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 43 - Diagnosis


Chapter~

Chapter 43 - Diagnosis

Captain Lewis sighs relenting under her gaze. There's almost no basis to Senna's words, but his intuition urges him to follow her words. After some hesitation, he raises his arm signaling the other guards nearby. The guards surround the three maids producing some rope to restrain them. When one of the maids struggle, a guards throws a punch directly at her face. His fist makes a light thud as a delicate looking palm wraps around his hand. He blankly turns his head to find Senna standing next to him, firmly gripping his fist.

"Restrain them without hurting them. I never once said to hurt them. Or can you not handle it?" Senna shoots the guard a scornful gaze making him grit his teeth. He looks at the Captain, but sees the Captain glaring at him rather than at Senna. He realizes that all the blame is on him and can only grumble as he follows Senna’s demand. The other guards act more carefully hearing that the maids must be unharmed. They make use of their numbers to firmly restrain the three. Senna turns around to find Iru still kneeling. "What will you do? Should I get someone else?"

"......" Iru continues to kneel biting her lip to the point of drawing blood.

"Sis! I'll be okay!" The silver haired maid yells out to Iru. Her hands are firmly restrained behind her back with rope, but the guards patiently wait for her to talk feeling some sympathy for unpleasant fate. "Just do what she says! It isn't fair if you get hurt too!" After letting her say her piece, the guard pulls her out of the hallway.

"..." Iru stays in place for another full minute before standing up. "I understand... I'm sorry for the delay... I'll have everyone's name down in a moment." She suppress her raging emotions and quickly jots down everyone's names.

Senna nods apathetically and waits. The other servants also stay in place nervously waiting in place. They all fear that Senna will suddenly pick on them and have them executed for no reason at all. The fact that the Captain followed her words without any firm reason cemented that fear in their hearts. When Iru finishes writing and puts her hand down, Senna immediately turns around. "Let's go." The nervous butler follows her instruction and leads the way. His face is completely pale and his entire body is trembling. He secretly wishes someone would take his place.

Iru bites her lip and starts walking. She turns to look at Captain Lewis following along and mouths 'Why?' hoping for an answer. Unfortunately, he doesn't know anything either and can only shake his head while shrugging his shoulders. He looks at Senna's back with some worry.

In front of the Great Hall, they see Sebastian waiting for them. "Good job. I'll take it from here."

The butler breaks into a wide smile. "Yes! Please excuse me!" He quickly bows and dashes away putting as much distance between him and Senna as possible.

Sebastian gives the butler a strange look before noticing Iru's equally pale face. He quickly notices the strange atmosphere and silently asks Lewis with his gaze. Lewis motions to Senna with his eyes, but is unable to say more than that.

"You can hear about it soon. Let's go in first." Senna cuts them off before they can continue their silent questioning.

"Ahem. Excuse me." Sebastian coughs with some embarrassment at being caught. He knocks on the large hall doors and enters first. He fully opens the door for them a few moments later. "Please come in."

The three of them enter and find the King, Queen, and Princess Liliana standing a few meters from them instead of in the throne near the end of the hall. Irene stands off to the side smiling at the close family. Behind them, Sebastian silently closes the door to keep the conversation private.

"You must be Senna. I am Queen Helen Erein. I owe you a great favor for saving my family." The Queen greets Senna with a kind smile.

"It's fine. I saved them by coincidence." Senna replies with a forced smile.

Princess Liliana tilts her head and goes up to Senna. “Senna, are you okay?”

Senna pats the Princess’ head and retracts her hand before replying. “No… I’m really, really mad. It’s already good that I haven’t killed any of the bad guys yet.”

Iru violently shudders. Her eyes bulge as she looks at Senna. Seeing the close interaction between Senna and the Princess, Iru immediately kneels in front of the King and Queen. “Your Majesty, please spare Eru! She’s innocent! Please punish me instead! I’ll take the full blame for her mistakes.”

“…” King Victor looks down at Eru kneeling at his feet with complete confusion. The Queen and Princess have an equally confused face as they look at Senna and Captain Lewis. Just as Lewis steps forward to explain, Senna holds out her hand barring him.

Senna holds her head feeling a small migraine. “Yes, yes. It’s my fault for not controlling my emotions better. Hahhhh……. I did not have those three restrained because I think they were the culprits. They were taken away because they’re seriously ill. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that they could collapse at any moment.”

A silence envelops the room as Senna’s explanation sinks in. “……Really?” Iru hesitantly turns around looking at Senna.

“…Yes…” Senna sighs rubbing her forehand with her fingers. “Those 3 are seriously ill and need treatment. Another 12 of the remaining 27 maids have the same illness, but it’s not as serious yet. Plus 3 of the remaining maids helped with the poisoning. I can’t help, but get angry when presented with such a situation before me.” Everyone in the room stares blankly at Senna.

“Why didn’t you say that from the beginning?” Lewis immediately questions Senna. He feels a bit of anger at Senna’s roundabout method, but also feels relieved that he made the right choice in believing in her.

“Because I need to treat the First Princess first. From what I’ve heard, her condition is the most precarious. With so many people ill, she’s probably suffering from the same thing only at a much higher level. I don’t know how many assailants there are, so I didn’t want to tip them off yet. I want to gather them all in one area and take them down in one fell swoop. That’s the only reason I didn’t openly kill them the second I saw them.” Senna replies with a heavy sigh.

“Please wait a moment. How do you know all this? If this is a joke, then it isn’t a laughing matter.” The Queen interjects.

Senna scratches her head thinking of the best way to explain. “Um…My [Identification] skill is extremely high. I can learn a lot about a person’s personal information just from looking… Let’s see… Honey Boo and Daisy…” She calmly explains throwing in an illogical phrase at the end.

“…What?” Iru tilts her head wondering what that last phrase meant. Most of the others have an equally confused face.

“How do you know that name?!” The Queen asks with a beet red face. Their gazes focus on the King and Queen and immediately notice their flush faces. The adults quickly figure out those names are probably private names related to the Royal Couple and immediately discard their memory of the name from their minds.

“Because I used my magic.” Senna shrugs. “Whether you believe me or not is your call.” She turns to look at Iru. “Please write down the Queen’s name too. She’s almost as ill as your sister.”

"Eh?!" Iru cries out. A ripple of shock ripples through the group hearing this unexpected noise.

"Senna!" Liliana tugs Senna's clothes looking up at her with teary eyes.

"Yes, yes. I know. But I want to see your sister first. I need to think about how to do this." Senna ruffles Princess Liliana's hair as she gives out a large sigh.

"Can you cure my wife?" King Victor asks with concern. The royal demeanor of a king cannot be seen on his face, only the concern of a loving husband.

"I have never seen this illness before, so I cannot promise anything. I can only gather information first and think about the best way to approach this situation." Senna replies in a somber mood.

A pervading silence fills the room at Senna's unassuring reply. "She's right. I still have time. I won't die that easily." The Queen replies in a confident laugh. "She should look at Iris first before worrying about this old lady." They agree with the Queen’s proposal and compose themselves.

They relocate to the First Princess' room. As they open the door, a thick herbal smell pervades their nostrils. Except for Senna, they all involuntarily wince as they adjust to the strong smell. Senna smiles at the smell reminding her of the Apothecary shop, but her smile falters when she sees the layer of smoke roiling about covering the ceiling.

The Princess' room has black curtains drawn blocking out the sunlight. Darkness covers most of the room held back only by lit candles. On the bed lies a still female figure. Her chest barely shifts showing how shallow her breathing is. Standing next to the bed is an old man dressed in a white robe.

"Ah you've come to visit again." The old man turns to greets them as they enter the room.

"Doctor. How is...ah!" The King greets the old man, but his words die in his throat when he looks behind the doctor.

Unbeknownst to anyone, Senna silently appears behind the doctor glaring strongly at him. She skips any form of conversation and attacks first. Grabbing the man's head, she twists it a full 360 degrees to the side. She restraints his arms and legs with magic sealing bindings in an instant and tosses him to the side. She looks at the others to find them staring blankly at her. "Sorry, I couldn’t resist giving him a good blow." She hisses out her response without any remorse, barely stifling her bloodlust.

"S-Senna...That was the Royal Doctor." Captain Lewis stares wide eyed at her ruthless attack. Everyone in the room is in a similar state. Their gazes shift back and forth between Senna and the collapsed Royal Doctor.

"I don't care for his status. I am on a mission to cure a patient and will protect their well being no matter who it is." Senna turns to look at the unconscious girl on the bed. She clicks her tongue seeing the girl's terrible state. Her muscles have completely withered and her skin has started to shrivel to the point of showing her bones. Her blonde hair has grown in an unkempt fashion frayed with split ends. Looking at her weakened state, it's a wonder that she is alive.

Opening Princess Iris' status she starts reading her background. Her thoughts hone in on a single word causing her mind to momentarily blank out. "She has cancer?!" She unconsciously yells out her thoughts. Covering her face, she thinks about the increased difficulty of treating the Princess.

"Can-ker? What's that?" The King steps forward and asks.

Senna lets out a deep breath composing myself. "Let me finish examining her. I'll explain after I compose my thoughts." She focuses again on Princess Iris. Several quiet minutes pass by as Senna silently stares at the Princess’ body. At one point, she extends her index finger and lightly touches the Princess’ abdomen. A soft white light envelops her abdomen for a brief second before it completely fades away.

“Senna, is big sister going to be okay?” Unable to bear the silence anymore, Liliana runs up to Senna tugging on Senna’s clothes. Her tear filled eyes stare up at Senna unable to hold back her grief.

“I’m not sure. Your sister is very ill… But I will do everything I can.” Senna ruffles Liliana’s hair and turns to others. The King, Queen, Captain Lewis, Irene, Iru, and Sebastian anxiously await Senna’s determination. “At this rate, I would say your daughter has four more days left before she’s pushed to the point of no return.” She points upward at the roiling smoke overhead. “Before we continue talking, let’s get rid of this poisonous smoke. It would be a problem for the Queen or Iru’s condition to worsen from this exposure.”

“The medicinal smoke is poisonous?! But the Royal Doctor said?!” The King yells out hearing Senna’s suggestion.

“Like I said. Liliana hired me to cure Princess Iris. As such, I will protect Princess Iris from anyone that threatens her wellbeing. Protecting her from any additional exposure to poison is the obvious thing for me to do.” Senna replies crossing her arms. King Victor and Captain Lewis grit their teeth and stare at the restrained Royal Doctor with pure rage. She gives a short sigh sensing their thoughts and calmly interrupting them. “I would advise you not to act recklessly. Despite his current appearance, he’s far from dead. He’s only loss consciousness.”

“What?! But?!” Captain Lewis’ gaze shoots back to Senna and back again to the Royal Doctor’s body. With his neck twisted that much, any normal person should have died from such an attack.

“That 3 headed monster I killed on our travels…I assume you haven’t forgotten about it already?” Senna asks abruptly. They turn to her and nod at the unexpected question. Only the Queen and Iru are left out of the loop since they had stayed behind in the city. Senna decides to quickly summarize it to get to the main point. “The 3 headed monster showed signs of being man made with a lot of abnormal features. But it’s not like the creator is constrained to making only weird monsters. If he chooses to make monsters that look like a person on the outside…” Senna points to the Royal Doctor letting her voice trail off. They gasp hearing Senna’s accusation. The Queen and Iru both express some doubt, but the others have already accepted heard her words after understanding Senna’s normal behavior.

"How do we know you're telling the truth?" Iru interrupts. Her mind struggles to accept everything spoken by Senna without proof.

"Mmm...How can I prove it?" Senna glances at the unconscious Royal doctor. Her gaze shoots back to Lewis. "Mind emptying his pockets? I want to see if he's carrying the poison on him. I restrained him thoroughly, so he should be safe to approach."

"Okay." Lewis nods and obediently starts rummaging through the Doctor's pockets. He presents two metal cases along with various miscellaneous items.

"Ah. Both of Iris' poisons are here. Convenient~ Put down the other stuff and let's deal with this one first." Senna nods happily that dealing with the situation has eased up with the discovery of the original poison.

"Two?!" The Queen cries out.

"Ah sorry I got distracted. Your daughter has two poisons running through her and also two illnesses worsening her condition. This is one poison." Senna points to the opened case in Lewis' hand. "From what I understand, Princess Iris was going to be used as a base for a new monster."

Senna explains the situation while concentrating on her hands. She drops a large metal tub in front of her. A cloth ribbon appears in her hand as she wraps it tightly around her right wrist. With a fluid swing of her hand, she cleanly amputates her right hand. Her severed hand makes a clear thud as it falls into the metal tub. Senna's expression is completely serene as blood flows freely into the tub.

"Wahh!!" The women scream seeing the bloody spectacle.

"Doctor! We need a doctor! …Ah……" Lewis cries out. He stops Yelling when he realizes who's knocked out nearby.

"Calm down a bit." Senna uses her [Blood Manipulation] to cut off the free flowing blood. Taking some medicine for replenishing her blood loss, she calmly tries to calm them down. "I can fix it after this. It's not a serious enough injury to make such a fuss."

"Uuu...But, doesn't it hurt?" Liliana asks tugging on Senna's clothes.

"A little bit. I've been through worse though." Senna nonchalantly replies. "Here. Let's finish this up, so I can fix my arm." Senna picks up her severed hand and tosses it into a separate bowl. She places it on the ground for everyone to clearly see. "Toss that poison on and let us see what happens."

"But..." Lewis hesitates looking at Senna's severed hand. If he poisons her amputated hand, then the chances of being able to reconnect it are low.

"I told you it's fine~" Senna replies waving off his concern. "I'm telling you to do it, so I naturally have a way to fix it once we're done."

"......Fine." He gives up on hesitating, opening the case he pours out the contents of a vial onto Senna's severed hand. The flesh on her hand immediately starts to burn away as if the contents were acid. A black smoke starts to emerge as all the flesh on her hand starts to disintegrate.  Everyone except for Senna unconsciously gulps seeing how potent the contents are.

Just when they believe it's over, the leftover bones begin to rattle. The black smoke surrounds the bony hand as it forms a shadowy mass. A meter and a half tall hand quickly forms as the bones enlarge to match the hand. As the others gasp at the apparition, Senna takes out her katana immediately slashes down at the shadowy hand. Unfortunately, the blade passes through the entire body without resistance. The apparition becomes enraged with Senna's attack as the hand turns to the side moving to grab her.

"Wow. Even the bones can't be cut, impressive." She continues to talk nonchalantly despite the fast developments before her. Senna rotates her body attacking the approaching hand with a magically powered kick. The arm explodes upon making contact with Senna's kick knocking it back several feet as it spins in the air. "<Purification>!" Senna swings out her hand continuing her assault as she casts <Light Magic> on the black apparition. The spell immediately takes effect as the apparition disintegrates completely destroying the smoke and bones.

Despite the power effect on the apparition, everyone else only sees a weak white light flicker as the spell takes effect. Despite the weak visual effect, it doesn't lessen their shock as they stare at the small pile of dust remaining from the apparition and Senna's bony hand. "As expected, <Purification> magic cannot be used without heavily damaging the back. How annoying~" Senna spits out a sigh with a carefree tone.

"You knew?" Lewis asks staring at Senna.

"Of course. It's not wise to test a dangerous poison without knowing what's involved in the process." Senna nods.

"But your hand?" Lewis gaze moves to the stump on her right hand.

"Like I said. I can fix it." Senna shrugs and sticks out her right hand. Blood freely flows again from her severed hand hardening in the shape of her former hand. She casts a <Water> healing spell transmuting her blood to restore her missing hand. The outer layer of blood hardens as bone and flesh reforms underneath. After a minute of waiting, she twists her hand causing the layer of blood to crack. Underneath, a pristine newly formed hand is revealed. "See? Good as new."

Senna lets their surprise sink in as walks back to the basin. She manipulates the blood upwards as a gemstone filled with magic appears in the palm of her hand. Her blood forms a bubble around the crystal completely enveloping it. Senna grabs the other metal case and pours the contents onto the blood bubble. The poison mixes with the blood, but no noticeable change occurs.

"Hmm..." She nods seeing the lack of change and pours magic into the blood bubble. Senna also secretly casts an <Acceleration> spells to speed up the display. Nothing happens for the first few seconds, but at the 20 second mark, some faint movement is seen. Senna catches the faint movement, but continues to pour in magic without concern. After 30 seconds, everyone else notices some disturbance with the blood bubble.

"Wah!!" Princess Liliana hides behind Senna several seconds later when a yellow bulge expands out from the blood bubble. Senna finally cuts the magic when 45 seconds have passed. She examines the yellow appendage that has attached itself to the crystal core. Over half of the blood bubble is encompassed with a yellowish appendage reminding her of a tumor. When the tumor like appendage left the bounds of the blood bubble, the color quickly darkened to a dark yellow. After darkening, it deflated sticking close to the bounds of the bubble.

"It needs blood to sustain it? Or maybe magic?” Senna murmurs staring the infected blood bubble.

“Senna, what is THAT Thing?” King Victor breaks the silence and asks.

“This ‘thing’ is the poison growing in the Queen’s and Iru’s body, along with all those maids I mentioned earlier. Their condition isn’t as bad as this though or else they would probably be near death.” Senna points to the covered blood bubble. “You should be careful about eating anymore of that poison.”

The Queen and Iru both pale touching their chest imagining that mass growing inside their bodies. "Senna." King Victor reacts quickly asking Senna for help.

"I planned to do so from the start. It's only a matter of whether you trust me or not." Senna shrugs her shoulders.

"I trust you. Please help us." Iru drops down to the ground begging. The Queen looks at Iru and bites her lip. As royalty it would not be appropriate to bow her head, but Senna is the only one that quickly discovered the poison spreading through the castle without a problem.

"Ah. Don't worry. I don't need begging. I planned to help you either way like I said. You responded very naturally by being wary of me. I'm not offended or anything." Senna catches the Queen' concern and casually brushes the topic off.

"What happens now?" Lewis asks.

"We went off topic with validating my skill, so... I'll continue my talk on what Princess Iris is suffering from and cure her once I get the okay? I don’t think the Princess will be cleared in one go, so I’d like to get her out of the danger zone. After that… I will assist with treatment and catching the criminals." Senna smiles explaining her plan.

"Explain? Please, there's no need. We trust you, so please cure my daughter." The Queen pleads.

"Eh…?" Senna tilts her head planning to ask if they're sure, but the question is swallowed back down seeing everyone's intent gazes. "It's a little strange to do so out of order, but understood. I'll remove the poison in the room first though... Please take care of that." Senna suddenly disappears as her voice suddenly sounds out behind Liliana.

A flame appears in her free hand illuminating the thing gripped in her other hand. A red fleshy appendage squirms about in her hand trying to escape. It extends across the ground as if it were a snake. They trace the long appendage back to the restrained Royal Doctor’s mouth and realize what it is. "Wah!!" Princess Liliana jumps and hurriedly hides behind Irene.

"Sorry. I didn't think to check if he had such a strange body part." Senna apologizes to Liliana. She stomps on the coiled tongue making the doctor curl up from the pain like a cooked shrimp. "I would cut his tongue off, but I expect you might want to question him intact?"

At her question, Lewis looks between the doctor and his tongue gripped within Senna's hand. He shakes his head resolutely. "No, it's too dangerous if he has such a thing in his hands." He draws his sword and slices down at the Doctor's tongue. Right before reaching the target, the blade lights up enveloped with a bright blue flame. The sword cleanly cuts through the tongue and lightly singes the carpet before the flame disappears.

Lewis pulls back his sword and looks at his weapon with a confused look. He glances at Senna, who returns with a bright smile. "Sorry, I wasn't intending to interfere, but you were too relaxed with that strike. Here." She tosses the end of the tongue lightly into the air. It floats in the air briefly before landing on another part of the amputated tongue. A loud metallic clang rings throughout the room followed by a loud thud. "Something that dense needs more effort to cut it."

"Right." Lewis nods with a bitter smile. He feels a bit of conflict in his heart for being taught not to hold back against captured prey. However, the disturbing fear of such a monster infiltrating the Royal Castle draws his disgust to a much higher level, especially considering that Senna has explicitly told him that there are still more lurking in the shadows.

"Good." Senna nods and raises her arm into the air. Using her <Wind Magic>, she creates a vacuum drawing all of the poisonous smoke into the palm of her hand. Within moments, an orb filled with compressed smoke floats silently over Senna's palm. It disappears with a sweep of her hand as it's thrown into her [Storage].

Princess Iris suddenly moves as she begins coughing. The simple cough quickly worsens as it becomes a hacking cough. Senna clicks her tongue sensing the change in her condition. "No time to relax." She jumps onto the Princess' bed straddling the Princess. "Time to cure her without using any of the conventional methods." She murmurs to herself leaning forward and deeply kissing Princess Iris.


Author’s Note
Another chapter down~ Thankfully I’m not stressed out at all since this chapter was enjoyable. Not to mention the worry I had last chapter that let me have some headway. I’m not sure what will happen with the release date for Chapter 44. I’ll just leave it to be randomly released in the next week or 2. Whenever it’s done, its done~

I learned about a fanmade Pokémon game this week, PokémonUranium. I haven’t played any since Pokémon Platinum, so I can honestly say it was nice timing since I’ve had a bit of an itch to play one and was thinking about buying X/Y. Now I can save a bit of money. I can just casually play since I’ll capture what I can, but not stress about getting every Pokémon. Two nice touches that I’ve found in the game so far. An opening backstory about why your character has to on an adventure, your aunt is broke and doesn’t make enough to care for 2 people. The other is a trainer in the second town that you can fight infinitely. He is an excellent grind stone for experience and money in the early phase of the game. Pokéballs galore!


The starters. I chose the Grass type cat. :3


My current team. Probably 3 of them will be used up to midgame and the others will be stashed away once they evolve or I find something better to use.

At some point I might jump on the other fanmade game, Pokémon Sage. I had attempted it before, but never figured out that the black screen after the opening clip isn’t a glitch, but more of a troll that you have to press enter to skip. XD

Starters for Pokemon Sage.

Finally, a shoutout to BrightLight on RRL for the accurate guess last chapter. Have a cookie~ 🍪

Take care until next time~

4 comments:

  1. Oh man so much plot happening in this chapter!

    and cancer that dreaded illness where ever case is completely unique to ever other case but looks so devilishly the same.

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    Replies
    1. "Grabbing the man's head, she twists it a full 360 degrees to the side."
      Umm, so she twisted his neck off in order to kill him? 360 means she brought his head a full circle, snapping his spine in the process and ripping out most of what's holding the head in place.

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    2. Yep. But like Senna said. He's not dead yet~ The tongue attack was meant to show that.

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