“Someone got sick!?”
From what I heard, there were two people who had fallen ill. They were sisters who lived in the same house.
While Ogres weren’t the brightest, their bodies were very tough.
If anything, I had a feeling that most germs ran away at the sight of an Ogre.
Ogres actually believed that licking their wounds was enough to heal them. And they were right.
“And what’s their current condition?”
A middle-aged female Ogre had brought me the news. She seemed to be their mother.
“They started feeling ill last night. And this morning, they felt so weak that they couldn’t get out of bed.”
So a night’s rest didn’t help. I had a bad feeling about this.
Most people would dismiss such a thing as a cold. But it was different with Ogres.
If someone fell ill, there was a reason for it.
“They will have to be isolated immediately. And if they vomit do not touch it!”
Perhaps she had been shocked by how serious I was, but she stood up and practically flew out of the room.
I would have to check up on them later.
More importantly, if people were falling ill, we would have to think of a way of dealing with it.
However, I had no idea how to treat the disease. And I had no medical knowledge at all.
“It wasn’t something you thought about in Japan.”
We just left everything to the doctors.
While it troubled me, I had everyone in the village gather together.
Unfortunately, I was not confident at all. Still, I had a responsibility to protect this town.
And so I stood in front of the villagers and prepared for the worst.
“I think the bad disease is spreading.”
I paused and looked around. No one said a word.
Alright. They were all listening.
“Is anyone here feeling even slightly ill?”
No one raised their hand.
It was possible that they just didn’t know yet. However, I would move things along on the assumption that they were all fine.
“This disease is very infectious. And so you will have to stay away from anyone who falls ill. At the same time, those who are ill must rest their bodies immediately. Eat and drink a lot and sleep. Take as much water as you can.”
I had no idea if that would actually help. I didn’t even know what kind of disease it was. Everything was unknown.
So perhaps I was just doing it to ease my mind, but there was nothing else I could do.
“And you must continue to hunt the rats. And make new traps. This town must be rid of the rats as soon as possible. Understand?”
More people would get infected if they didn’t do something about the rats.
But then again, was it even possible to get rid of all of them?
And so I took the initiative, installing traps and taking care of the sick.
The concept of hygiene was quite foreign to Ogres, and so I had to teach them as we went.
I ordered them to boil any cloth used to wipe the bodies of the patients.
And if their hands or clothes touched any of the droppings, they were to wash them in boiling water.
Humans would get terrible burns if they washed their hands in boiling water, but the skin of Ogres was so thick, that they would be fine if it was just for a short while.
And like that, we were slowly able to change the environment that the patients were in.
They had the energy. And so I wanted them to beat the disease. I was desperate.
At the same time, I was wary of anyone else falling ill.
“…Are you really alright?”
Asked Guinida, the Ogre I had left in charge of the village.
“What do you mean?”
“You seemed to be in a hurry. I assume you have other business to attend to. Can you really afford to stay here for so long?”
I did have something I needed to do. Get my army together and head towards Demon King Tralzard’s lands.
However, could this village survive without me?
More people might get sick, and they might fail with the rat exterminations.
“I am quite busy… However, I can’t leave this village just yet.”
“But isn’t this business very important?”
Ogres did not live that long, but Guinida was one of the oldest.
I had heard that he was close to seventy.
And perhaps wisdom did come with age, as he was much more thoughtful than the others.
It was true. I couldn’t break a promise that my country had already made.
At the same time…I didn’t want to abandon this village to their fate.
“The rats and the patients. I can’t leave this village until I’m sure that things are under control.”
I wasn’t trying to be conceited, but there were things that I alone knew.
And I was sure that I would regret it if I left them now.
“I see. In that case, I have nothing to say. Please save this village.”
“I mean to do just that. …You’ve lived a long time, haven’t you, Guinida? Do you know anything about this disease?”
“No… Besides, it has only been within the last twenty years that I’ve become able to think about things calmly. Before that, I lived without really considering anything.”
If even the village elder did not know, it would be difficult to learn anything.
“Still, if you live long enough, you hear things from other villages, towns, and countries. And I’ve heard many stories of villages being destroyed by similar plagues. They come suddenly, like a storm. I’ve always seen them as a natural disaster.”
A natural disaster…like typhoons and earthquakes?
“I see. …But trying every possible means can also save villages that should have fallen, and extend lives that should have ended. That’s what I believe.”
“I hope you are right.”
But what would really happen?
I didn’t have enough knowledge about such things. I was out of my depth.
As I pondered such things, I heard the sounds of something moving through bushes. It was coming from the mountain.
I wondered if it was a boar and waited. What appeared in front of me, were a few of the Lamias I had left in the cave.