Next is “Anti-poison.” This training also seems like it will be a daunting experience.
“Shall we begin the training for Anti-poison? Are you prepared?”
“I’ll explain the steps as usual.”
“Sure, please go ahead.”
“First, you’ll drink a diluted poison. Initially, it won’t be lethal, but it might make your stomach ache or feel unwell.”
“Will I eventually have to drink a lethal poison?”
“Yes. After all, there’s no point if you can’t detoxify a lethal poison, right?”
“Let me back up. My image is that the poison is neutralized by covering the entire body with magic power.”
“The entire body…”
“Yes, in some cases, it might be sufficient to use it at the tip of your finger. However, when it comes to poisons, there’s no room for mistakes. I intend to use magic as if I were detoxifying the entire body.”
(Come to think of it, I’ve heard that it takes about a minute for the blood to circulate throughout the body… applying it to the entire body does seem reasonable.)
“Well, let’s try drinking it right away.”
Mother brought the poison with a mischievous look.
I held my breath and swallowed the light brown liquid in one gulp. As soon as I drank it, I felt a strong nausea and a simultaneous loss of color in my face.
“Now, try detoxifying it.”
Mother said it casually, but I couldn’t concentrate on the magic change like I could with “Heal.”
However, the suffering didn’t lessen if I simply let it be. I desperately tried to imagine neutralizing the poison and attempted detoxification, but it didn’t go well at all.
In the first place, what is the imagery for neutralizing the poison? I couldn’t imagine it at all. If I couldn’t imagine the poison in the first place, I couldn’t possibly imagine neutralizing it.
“Mother, can you apply Anti-poison for me once?”
“Ara, are you giving up already?”
“No, I just thought that since I can’t even imagine what the poison is like, maybe I could feel the magic beforehand.”
“I see. Very well, I’ll detoxify it for you.”
I asked Mother to apply Anti-poison, and she thoroughly washed away the poison in my body.
(Alright, first, let’s feel the magic inside the body…)
“Mother, I’m going to drink it.”
“Alright, go ahead.”
Mother handed me a vial containing the poison. I drank the poison while feeling the magic inside my body.
Something entered me…
It felt like dropping a single murky droplet into a clear pool of water. The murkiness slowly spread throughout, gradually tainting the entire pool.
I focused on changing my magic to restore the water to its original clear state. Slowly but surely, the water became clear again. After a while, it returned to its original state.
“Mother, I think I did it.”
“That’s right. You succeeded.”
I received approval from Mother more easily than I had expected. To be honest, I was quite nervous because the experience with “Heal” had been traumatic.
I should have learned Anti-poison now.
“Mother, so there shouldn’t be any issues with Anti-poison now, right?”
“Ha? What are you talking about?”
“Eh? Didn’t I just succeed?”
“Haa… This is where the real work of Anti-Poison begins.”
“What do you mean? I don’t understand.”
Mother let out another sigh and explained.
“Understand this: how did you feel when you drank that poison earlier?”
“I felt nauseous.”
“The poison you drank earlier was the mildest type, and even if left untreated, it would have naturally healed within an hour.”
“The mildest type…”
“Do you remember what I told you earlier?”
“Yes, I was supposed to drink a lethal poison…”
“That’s right. Lethal poisons require precision and timing; even the slightest mistake could lead to death.”
“Al, the way you think about time fundamentally differs between ‘Heal’ and ‘Antipoison.’ Do you know why?”
“The way I think about time… I don’t understand.”
“Fundamentally, ‘Heal’ is about providing immediate first aid and extending the patient’s life. So there’s some time to spare.”
“Spare time? Even if your body is nearly cut in half?”
“If it’s to that extent, there’s no way you could survive.”
“If there’s room to apply ‘Heal,’ it means there’s some time available for first aid. In a situation where there’s no time to spare, you’re doomed either way.”
“Heal and Anti-poison have entirely different approaches to time. Do you understand now?”
“Approaches to time… I still don’t understand.”
“In essence, ‘Heal’ provides a sense of time to give immediate first aid, while ‘Anti-poison’ needs to be applied within a specific time frame to counteract the poison. Can you grasp the difference?”
“Now that you’ve got the idea, shall we move on to the next poison?”
I continued to drink poison, sometimes failing and even foaming at the mouth before losing consciousness.
However, I continued to drink poison persistently.
And so, I managed to reach the final milestone and drink the last poison.
The final poison was lethal, known to be one of the quickest-acting poisons that could make you lose consciousness in just 10 seconds. It was frequently used for assassinations.
I didn’t want to drink it…
To be frank, I didn’t want to drink it. Voluntarily ingesting a lethal poison was just plain foolish.
Right now, there were three recovery mages and my mother, four people in total who could use Anti-poison, standing by around me. These were individuals who had gathered to help me in my training.
I wanted to run away right then, but I couldn’t escape any longer.
“Mother, I’m ready.”
I replied and was handed a small vial. Inside the vial was a thick purple liquid. Purple… just looking at it made my internal danger alert go off at maximum capacity.
I wished she’d stop and looked at my mother, hoping for a last-minute reprieve. But she just gave me a thumbs-up! What a character!
Haa, there’s no choice; I had to steel myself.
I downed the purple liquid in one gulp.
The moment I drank it, I felt like I was losing consciousness, but I struggled desperately to stay awake. Just enduring wasn’t enough. I had to neutralize it.
I hurriedly manipulated my magic to neutralize the poison. The process wasn’t proceeding as quickly as I’d hoped, but it should have been working. I was running out of time, though.
I don’t know how much time passed, probably just a few seconds. I thought my consciousness was about to fade when I managed to neutralize the poison in the nick of time.
It was a very close call.
I thought if I did the same thing again, I would surely lose consciousness.
Nevertheless, I somehow completed the detoxification.
“I… I did it.”
I managed to utter these words, gasping for breath.
“Good job. Catch your breath, and then we’ll do it again.”
Again… I have to do it again…
Thanks to that arduous training, I was able to master Anti-poison. However, it raised a single suspicion in my mind: “Could all recovery magic be torturous?”
From Heal to Anti-poison, the two spells I had learned so far were both traumatic experiences.
Now, I was resolved to think carefully before undertaking my training from the next spell onwards. This marked the beginning of my journey at the age of ten.