He’s the pharmacist I attached to Logan.
To be more exact, he’s a hatchling chick pharmacist who I entrusted Logan to raise.
That’s why Logan gave a negative response as though he loathed the idea.
Logan acted as though it’s annoying to take charge of another person, but when he checked Zobel’s skills, he soon realized that they weren’t all that bad, and so Logan became willing to take Zobel under his wing as his student.
Zobel helped out David with his deceitful stints all this time, however it wasn’t long after David had been taken away that Zobel went to my side.
* * *
This was a few days after the match between Cassion and David—
Zobel himself asked if I could meet him in person.
Although Diana had already told me the whole story of David’s ‘defecation incident,’ Zobel came forward to convey his apology and express his gratitude directly.
Still with an ashen complexion, he bowed very low towards me.
“I deeply apologize that I acted the way that I did.
And for absolving me of my c-crimes, thank you very much.”
I stared at him aloofly and spoke quietly.
I accept both your gratitude and your apology.”
The tone of my voice wasn’t all that kind, but Zobel smiled as though he was greatly comforted.
All that happened was that he apologized, and I received his apology.
After this, we had nothing else to talk about.
In the midst of a secret transaction, what more was the point of facing each other again
Nevertheless, as I sat in front of him, Zobel continued to stand still in that spot, and it seemed as if he didn’t want to leave.
As he fidgeted with his fingers, it looked like he had something more to say.
“What is it”
Cutting the prolonged silence short, I was the first to speak.
I’m here now, face-to-face with him, so he should just say what he wanted to say.
Zobel’s shoulders flinched in surprise, however he soon opened his lips in a stutter.
“I, I’m going to quit being a knight, Milady.”
He hardly spoke more than a few words, but after this statement alone, he looked a little relieved.
And whether or not he gained courage from that first statement, he continued his confessions, which I frankly wasn’t very curious about in the first place.
“I only did those things because David was threatening me, but everything I’ve done until now still weighs heavily on my conscience.”
“…S…So, because I’ve done something shameful enough to disparage my honor as a knight, I’ve decided to stop being one.”
He dreamed of such a position that didn’t suit him from the very beginning, so he’s not that far off from the mark.
Then, the man added bitterly as a murmur.
It’s bittersweet, but it’s not a lie.
In any case, he had many realizations as he saw David being dragged away.
To be honest, I could understand Zobel’s position as he was thinking something along the lines of, ‘Should I blame myself for everything that I did, regardless of whether I was being threatened or not’ Everyone had different notions, and I could respect Zobel’s stance.
“Then what will you do from now on”
As if he didn’t expect for me to reply, the man’s carrot-colored eyes grew wide.
He scratched one freckled cheek and stuttered out a response.
“I’m going to be… a pharmacist.”
My father is a pharmacist, you see, and I’d like to follow in his footsteps to help.”
Pharmacist, he said.
“It suits you.”
It was quite literally the occupation that suited him perfectly.
After all, every single potion and medicine that helped David thus far was made by Zobel himself.
If David had bought those potions himself, he might have gotten noticed, that’s why he left the task of formulating to Zobel.
Originally, it was considered dangerous for any civilian to formulate medicines, but the background check I had on him stated that, ever since his days at the academy, he had a great talent in medicine manufacturing…
It wouldn’t hurt for him to pursue pharmacy.
Then again, this reminded me of something.
‘I also need a pharmacist to make a cure for Ria.’
The cure for Diana’s younger sister definitely exists.
In the original novel, Leo’s researcher had succeeded in making it, so this meant that it’s entirely possible to recreate it.
In fact, I knew what the main ingredient was.
The only problem was that I didn’t know how exactly to make it.
Unless I knew the manufacturing process, I’d need to find a professional pharmacist to work on creating it.
‘If it’s Logan…’
No, it can’t be him.
Logan was a specialist in both poison and medicine.
However, some problems would arise if he was the one I’d ask.
He was Blanca’s subordinate, not mine.
That was the problem.
I couldn’t easily leave a matter like this to someone who wasn’t even my own person, especially if it was an endeavor that could take years to complete.
‘To begin with, the contract I have with Blanca is just two years…’
Through and through, Logan would move just for the sake of Blanca.
He was only willing to listen to me now because I had signed a contract with Blanca.
After two years, he would leave without ever looking back, and so this matter was something I couldn’t possibly leave in his hands.
‘As expected, the best method is to find the pharmacist who made the medicine in the original.’
Rather, it was the fastest method to look for that pharmacist rather than to go about this in the roundabout manner.
If I want complete certainty when it comes to the medicine’s creation, wouldn’t the chances of success be more significant with the original pharmacist rather than any other average person
Allegedly, the pharmacist who made the cure in the original novel was a man in his mid-twenties, and he had brown hair and orange eyes…
Thinking to myself, my eyes gravitated to the person in front of me.
This man was standing quietly there, staring back at me while I was lost in thought.
They both caught my attention.
I blinked in a daze.
Then soon, a smirk found its way to my lips.
‘Ey, no way.’
This is absolutely ridiculous.
In this world, what kind of coincidence exactly was this.
However, unlike the incredulity I felt that was revealed on my expression, inwardly, doubt still constantly nagged at me.
Without realizing it, I started to compare Zobel to the original pharmacist.
‘The original novel’s pharmacist… That character remained unnamed, but he was characterized with a stutter.
And he looked very emaciated due to the dark circles around his eyes…’
Based on these clues, the descriptions matched one after another.
Still, what turned my doubts into conviction weren’t these physical descriptions, but the biggest difference between the pharmacist in the original story and the current Zobel.
‘The pharmacist in the novel despised the Valentines.’
I raised one hand to cover my lips.
This was to hide the cheers that would have come out, along with the astonishment that I was feeling.
If the pharmacist in the novel and Zobel were the same person, then it all made sense.
Since Cassion and David wouldn’t have had a match in the original storyline, Zobel had to continue working as David’s lackey.
His mind would have been more worn down than it was now.
David would have no problems being promoted to a senior knight, unless he was caught in the act.
It’s no wonder that Zobel, who failed to get promoted, quit being a knight while harboring spite for House Valentine.
Perhaps it went like this—he became a pharmacist, but as he wandered around, he caught Leo’s eye and so eventually fell under his command.
This theory turned into certainty.
This man in front of me now will be the pharmacist in the original novel.
‘The fall of House Valentine.
Every aspect of it has a reason.’
As soon as I became sure of Zobel’s identity, this thought occurred to me.
The household’s reliable manpower was taken away, and all that was left were these people: a nanny who abused the ducal ladies of the house, and the servants who turned a blind eye to this transgression.
Then, the only knights left were those who attained their position through deceitful means.
How could such a household not fall to ruin
Taking my hand off my lips, I slowly leaned back against my seat.
And, tsk, I clicked my tongue.
This was done while I was thinking of how pathetic the Valentines were, but Zobel, as he was in front of me, flinched.
While his shoulders shook, he scratched the back of his head awkwardly.
“Of course… I’m being too shameless, aren’t I, Milady It’s ridiculous for me to strive to become a pharmacist when I once made medicine to harass other people…”
“No, I’m rooting for you though”
Before that discouraged voice could continue his bout of self-deprecation, I cut him short.
Here in front of me was someone who had potential, so he shouldn’t be discouraged.
Rather than ordering him around with threats, it was better to boost his confidence with positive reinforcement.
If you just whip someone who already had low self-esteem, then their efficiency would just drop further.
Bewildered, he asked back.
However, I soon replied with a smile directed at him.
“Exactly that, I’m rooting for you.
I’ll even support you.”
I believe you’ll be quite the talented pharmacist.”
At the gently spoken words, the man’s cheeks turned red.
It was as if he had never in his life heard a compliment before.
“N…Not at all, Milady.
That’s not possible.
I’m not talented, not at all.”
While waving his hands in the air as though he was swimming, my expression grew stiff when he denied it outright.
Watching me lean back fully as I tapped the armrest of my seat, the man’s gaze quickly became filled with tension.
“Then, are you saying that my eyes are wrong”
“No, it’s not that, but…”
“Isn’t it easy for you to make effective medicine in a short period of time”
“That’s what you would call talent—and I acknowledge your talent.
I’m not saying this lightly, and these aren’t empty words.
Just take it as it is.”
If given a compliment with a smile, it’s obvious that he would think that it’s a lie.
‘He must be denying it right now, thinking that I’m just being considerate of him.’
People who lacked confidence usually wouldn’t take compliments at face value.
They’d think that the person complimenting them was just them being kind and considerate.
That’s why I deliberately hardened my expression and spoke firmly.
With the carrot and stick approach done in a short span of time, Zobel was at a complete loss.
He immediately bowed fully with his head practically slammed to the ground.
However, his first reaction was clearly a questioning look that said, ‘Maybe’
Just as I thought, he was suspicious of whether I was being sincere or not.
Until now, he remained awkwardly silent, but his lips soon opened hesitantly.
“But then— I’m someone who’s caused damage to House Valentine…”
“And I’m someone who’ll support you.
As far as I know, I don’t think you’ve ever harmed me directly though”
“Can I truly be of help to you, Milady”
The question was answered with another question, but this wasn’t a bad response.
This was enough to prove that he was slowly leaning towards accepting it.
Softening my hard expression now, I nodded.
You’ll be of great help.
I’ll give you my full support.
If you ever become a commendable pharmacist, I’ll even help you earn a lot of money.”
At the enticing suggestion, Zobel wavered and raised his head.
Beneath the empty gaze of his carrot-colored eyes, a hint of vigor was faintly restored.
Gulp. The man’s adam’s apple bobbed up and down as he gulped dryly.
His lips, which hesitated for a very long time, opened carefully.
It’s clear that the next question he was to utter was the one he’d been wanting to ask the most.
“But why me, and why go through all that trouble”
It was practically the first time he didn’t stutter.
I paused for a moment, pondering how I should answer.
I decided to say what I wanted to say.
The reason I wanted him on my side.
The reason why I’m doing all this for Zobel.
“There’s a medicine that I just know you can make.”
A few days later, Zobel resigned from the knight order.
However, he still remained in House Valentine.