"Listen, Kaede. This is very important medicine, so don't spit it out even if it's bitter."
"If you drink it properly, I'll buy you something you like later."
"Yes, I promise. As long as you swallow it properly."
"T-Then, I want pudding."
Once again I was in the same hospital room I had visited just the other day. This time as a regular visitor. But so far I haven't told Sayaka that I've been to this hospital room several times.
Now, I see a girl in cute animal-print pajamas expressing her delight at Sayaka's words.
Needless to say, this girl is Kaede, Sayaka's daughter.
Kaede has just turned six years old and will start elementary school next spring. And early on, there was a pink school bag by her bed that looked too big to fit her height.
I guess this is Sayaka's wish for her daughter to go to elementary school, even though she knows it is impossible.
On the bed in the hospital room, I see Kaede holding the small bottle that Sayaka gave her firmly with both hands so as not to spill it, and slowly tilting it to her mouth.
Right beside her, the yellow aura of [Expectation] and the purple aura of [Anxiety] are fluctuating as if they are competing for dominance. The unstable aura seems to tell the inner feelings of Sayaka, who is watching what is going on.
Of course, the contents of this bottle is the Poison of Muldeur.
It is almost tasteless and odorless, and the quantity is only a small amount, so Sayaka's worry is groundless, but I would be lying if I say I am not nervous at all. Because I can't be sure that it won't be rejected by her.
However, despite both of us worrying about it, Kaede's smile was as bright as a blooming flower after she drank all of her drink.
"How is it, Kaede? How are you feeling?"
"Hmm, I feel warm."
"I see... But that's great. Now you just need to take the medicine a few more times and you'll be fine, I'm sure."
Sayaka said this, but the purple color of [Anxiety] still remained.
She does not seem to fully believe her own words that her daughter will get better. So, she turned her head to me and looked at me. Then, what was mixed in her eyes as if she was trying to find out my color was an earnest feeling as if she was asking me if her daughter was really okay.
But there was nothing I could do. It's an incurable disease that even doctors have given up on.
I guess she is afraid to have hope in it because she can't believe my words even though the white of [Trust] is showing.
Anyway, Kaede has not shown any rash, and so far seems to be OK. However, I don't know if the reaction is immediate or not, and it is quite possible that she will have a rejection reaction on the second or third dose.
The case of Satou Yuuki, who has been dosed three times before, is too insufficient as a sample to be of any help, to be honest.
"As I told you before, it cannot be cured by a single dose. It must be given at least four times. If you want to be sure, it should be five times, but more is not always better. Well, don't worry so much. Everything will be fine."
To tell the truth, there are other ways to deal in case the poison of Muldeur doesn't work.
Although it may not be a proper means, there are ways to turn a person into a lesser vampire or to use a parasitic organism to maintain a part of the body's functions. However, these methods have their own harmful effects, and I would not like to resort to them.
Well, since things will turn out the way they will turn out, there is no point in thinking about this and that. To change the subject, I decided to ask Sayaka something that had been bothering me for a while.
"By the way, I saw two names on the nameplate of the hospital room when I came in."
"Yes. There is a boy named Satou Yuuki in the bed next to hers on the right. He was given permission to go home on temporary leave the other day, but he's not here now.
"Hmm, I see. So, is he good?"
Temporary leave does not necessarily mean that the patient has recovered from their illness.
It is because there is nothing that can be done for the patient so that the family can spend the last time together in a relaxed manner. In this sense, I asked her if things were going well, but she seemed to have understood my question.
"Oh, yes. Yuuki-kun's mother told me in tears that his condition has been recovering quite well and that the medication has finally had an effect here. She said it was a miracle..."
"I see. A miracle..."
Sayaka's face did not clear up at all, probably because she was not satisfied that the miracle had not happened to her daughter. Then, should I tell her everything about Satou Yuuki?
However, it is not so easy to find an excuse for saving a stranger's child with precious medicine.
Just when I swallowed the words that were about to come out of my mouth, I saw a nurse coming into the hospital room.
"Houjou-san. May I have a word?"
"Yes, is something wrong?"
"No, just a moment."
The elderly nurse unnaturally pauses and beckons to me with a small hand.
I could tell by her mood that she didn't have good news.
Sayaka, who seemed to have sensed the news as well as I did get up from her seat, turning purple with [Anxiety]. Somewhat concerned, I followed her to the doorway where the nurse was standing. But what the nurse told us had nothing to do with Kaede.
"I'm sorry for interrupting. I was hoping the mother could decide whether or not to tell Kaede. I heard your neighbor, Satou Yuuki, passed away just now."
"He had an accident. Apparently, he was on his way home from dinner with his family. But when he was rushed here it was too late..."
"I'm terribly sad to hear that. He had just stabilized and there was a glimmer of hope. But Yuuki-kun's parents may come to see you at a later date, so I want you to decide what you're going to do before then. Kaede, she was a good friend of his, wasn't she? If you don't want to tell her, you can tell her that he's discharged from the hospital. I will make sure that his parents don't know about it."
"Oh, yes. I understand. Then..."
"It doesn't have to be right now. Please talk it over with your family and relatives first. I'm sure it's quite a shock for someone Kaede's age, but some families have a policy of letting their children experience such things from an early age."
The nurse glances at me, bows lightly, and leaves the room.
I wonder if she thought I was her relative or something, wearing the mask of James Masuda. Well, Sayaka has a very Japanese style, so such a misunderstanding is not surprising.
But still, it was an accidental death.
The poison of Muldeur has gone to waste, but I don't mind that in itself.
The fact that he was able to return home proves that the cure was effective even in this world.
However, there is one thing that I have been worried about since I came back to this world.
A seed of uneasiness has sprouted inside of me.
I wonder if I can change what has happened in the past and if there will be a reversal of destiny in the future.
As is often the case in stories, there is a compulsion in fate, and even if someone tries to change it, it will eventually return to something close to its original state. Such a possibility is possible.
Although I should have already changed Ayano's destiny, there is no sign of it so far.
As for Sayaka, I can honestly say that I should consider the fact that I met her in a different way as a force of fate, or as a change of fate.
No, at least I am sure that the attempt to change destiny does not result in the force to return to the original state. If this is the case, then the accident that happened to Satou Yuuki was just a coincidence...
"After all, is it better not to tell Kaede?"
Sayaka's words brought me back to reality.
"I don't know. That's up to you, the mother, to decide. But, I don't think it's too late to tell her about death and dying until she's a little older."
"Yuuki-kun, he promised Kaede he'd be back next week. But I know it'll give her a hard time if I tell her honestly that he died in an accident."
"Then just tell her, he's discharged from the hospital. I'm sure Agfis, my God, will forgive a lie like that."
I don't think it's that big of a deal to me, but I guess mothers have their own conflicts. I didn't want to get involved too much.
"Mom, where's Kaede's pudding?"
I heard Kaede's voice from her bed as if she had been waiting for her.
"Yes, yes, I'll go get some now."
"She looks fine. Well then, I'm going to leave now. See you next week."
"Thank you so much. I'll be forever indebted to you..."
Sayaka bows her head.
Judging from the color of her aura, these must be true words from the bottom of her heart.
It is just as I had hoped, white of [Trust] and pink of [Love] appear strongly in her aura.
It is not that I had no sympathy or pity for Kaede, Sayaka's daughter, but my original purpose was for Sayaka's loyalty to me. In this sense, I should say that the result was satisfactory.
"Umm, Uncle, are you going to be Kaede's Papa?"
As I'm about to leave, thinking that I've done my job, I'm stopped in my tracks by a voice behind me.
"Hmm? Does Kaede-chan want a Papa?"
"I see. Unfortunately, I can't be Kaede's Papa."
"You see, Kaede. Listen to Mom. Masuda-san is a much bigger man than your Papa."
"I'll tell you everything so you can understand. Even if you don't understand now, let's thank Masuda-san."
"Yes. Thank you, Uncle."
I felt a little awkward when she thanked me even though my act was motivated by impure motives.
Even so, it did not change the fact that I was saving her daughter's life. At the very least, she should be grateful to me.
More importantly, I intend to make use of Sayaka in many ways in the future.
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