LE V1 (Main) C3-1
Chapter 3 – Night, then morning – Part 1
I thought I’d just fallen asleep, but I woke up to groans beside me. What time is it?
The car’s clock read 3:13 am. Looking beside me the child who I’d rescued earlier was obviously suffering. I placed my hand on its forehead and it was burning up.
Ah, am I really an idiot. A kid that didn’t plead to be saved or cried or hung on would never truthfully tell me the state of its body. How was my first thought not of treating her first but to sleep? Damn yesterday’s me. If I slipped up I could lose a life here.
The situation isn’t good enough that I could go back to the castle. I’m a problem as well but this child isn’t being treated as a human being. Plus I doubted whether they actually had hospitals and it was far off as well.
I hurriedly got out of the car, opened up the trunk and took out the first aid kit. They were for emergency measures so they were all over the counter medicines, but they were better than nothing.
I took out the thermometer and measured her temperature.
42.3 degrees. They say that above 40 degrees the enzymes in your body degrade and there’s a high risk of death but this is way over that.
I took out an antipyretic but…. It’s a pill.
Nothing’s going for me right now is it.
It’s a child so do I feed her one pill or half.
I calmly turned on the light, read the instructions for the dosage, and read that children can be fed an entire pill.
I crushed the pill with scissors in the first aid kit as finely as possible, and mixed it in my mouth with water. Then as if providing CPR I slowly leaked it into the child’s mouth.
Thankfully, the child unconsciously swallowed it.
I honestly don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.
I wound down the windows to let the outside air in, and turned the heater on to stop us from getting cold. Remembering that the child had been bleeding, I took out a saline solution, hydrogen peroxide solution, ointment, bandages and slowly and carefully applied them from the face onwards.
At the thought that there might be injuries on the body, I took off its overclothes.
The child’s body was one giant injury. Not a simple one either. The fact that it was covered in bruises aside, the skin was starting to rot. The wounds had festered from lack of treatment, and to think that new injuries had piled up on top of those meant that this was an extremely dangerous situation.
“Why didn’t you say anything!”
No, before that what pisses me off more is yesterday’s me. Why didn’t I notice? Why didn’t I think of caring for it earlier and thought of myself first. I thought I was an individualist but apparently I was more chivalrous that I thought I was.
I didn’t think that this alone would work, but I continued to disinfect and apply ointment as best as I could.
Thankfully the child’s breaths seemed to be getting stable. After I treated the upper body and remeasured the temperature it was 37.5 degrees. Normal.
“Were our country’s antipyretics this effective?”
That’s not the important thing.
I took off the child’s pants and underwear as well. My thoughts that it would be the same as the upper body were correct. I repeated the process of disinfection, ointment, and bandages, when I discovered something odd.
What I thought was emergency measures returned back unbelievably.
As if time was flowing backwards, the wounds started to close at a speed visible to the eye. I peeled off the edge of a bandage and the rotting skin was already to the point of full restoration.
Is this kid not human as well?
No matter what this medicine shouldn’t be that effective. The only things that came to mind were the trolls of fantasy, or planaria(1) in reality. I was going to take her back to the castle for proper treatment but this threw a spanner in the works.
After I treated the lower body I went back to the trunk, pulled out some spare clothes and dressed the child. Checking that it was 4:33 am I came out.
“She was a woman.”
To be accurate, a girl.(2)
Now that I think about it, I think that little brat had called her ‘that girl~’ at some point in time. I’m a bit dim……..
I looked up at the sky. The moon I could always see was the same yellow moon I could always see. Not two, but one. Plus the moon’s shadow was the same as well. If I looked at the moon I couldn’t believe that this wasn’t Earth.
“I……. can see the stars?”
The stars that were hard to see in the countryside could be seen scattered throughout the sky.
Even the Milky Way I’d only ever seen in photos.
“Really, where is this……”
I opened the trunk for something to eat, thankfully the chips, noodles, snacks for alcohol, drinks, alcohol were all there in abundance. I was hungry, but more than food, what called me was alcohol and nicotine, so I leaned back against a tree, stretched my legs out, cracked open a can of beer and took a sip.
I took out a cigarette from my pocket and flicked on the lighter.
The thick air filling my lungs seemed to be telling me this was not a dream but reality.
(1) Species of microorganism that when cut in half, regenerates as two fully functioning individuals.
(2) Finally don’t have to refer to her as ‘the child’ or ‘it’ all the damn time.
(3) Exhaling SFX