Unknown Entity

Mana Poisoning

After being allowed admittance, Lidusis, Dio, Linus, and Lapis were finally able to see Rood who didn't look so good while lying on the bed. His face was much redder than before a clear sign that his fever had gotten worse like Axel said. A wet towel on his forehead which is a common method for alleviating a fever. On top of the drawer next to the bed are various types of medicine in different forms such as pills, powder, and liquid. An opened first aid kit was also placed on the drawer along with an ice pack.

"Yo Rood! We came to visit!"

Hearing Dio's voice, Rood gets up to see not just Dio but Lidusis, Lapis, and Linus as well. And oddly enough, a brown haired professor he doesn't recognize trying to drag Shicmuon away from the other side of the door.

"Feeling any better?"

Dio immediately jumps at his bedridden friend.

"Were you lonely without your best friend around!"

*SMACK*

"I'm still not allowed to get out, but I do feel better now." Rood felt refreshed. Not surprising after happened beforehand. Unlike Linus, Lidusis and Lapis had their attention more drawn at the motionless, unconscious Idun on the floor and the first aid kit with one of the edges bloodied. It didn't take a genius to figure out whose blood it is considering that they were the ones who witnessed the violent scene.

"Rood, are you alright?" Lidusis asked concerned about his friend's health. Since he knew that Rood wasn't actually chronically ill, he found it strange how Rood got so sick.

"I'm fine, Lidusis. It's only a little cold. You shouldn't worry so much." Rood assured his worrywart friend.

"Rood..."

He wasn't alright. He was far from it. Lidusis knew it and he had to tell him. Tell Rood that...

"I assure you that I'm perfectly fine."

He was talking to a lamp.

Delirious, Rood mistakes the lamp next to him as Lidusis accidentally talking to it as if it were his friend unaware of the fact that Lidusis right in front of him.

Seeing how blurred Rood's vision was, it was completely obvious that the bedridden Idun was far from fine.

"Rood-nim is so cute when he's clumsy~" As usual, Linus fawns over Rood regardless of what the latter does.

Except this wasn't what one would call clumsy.

"We brought you a gift." Lapis showed Rood the basket of fruit. Nutrition and vitamins are good for the body.

"Is that so... How kind of you to bring a gift..." Rood appreciated Lidusis and the others going out of their way to get him a present. It would have been a touching scene if Rood wasn't talking to the basket of fruit he was holding in his hands like a ball.

"I'm over here..." Lapis corrects the currently delirious Rood.

"I'm grateful for your generous offer. Thanks Lidusis, Dio, La... Lap... Uh..." Rood wonders what was it again as he tries to remember the name. "... Thank you guys."

Unable to recall the name, Rood just thanks them all.

"Hey! Say my name too!" Lapis was hurt that Rood didn't remember his name.

"Ah, Rood-nim, thanked me..."

Linus was so ecstatic to hear Rood thanking him. It was like he was in heaven.

"Rood, I think you should get some rest..." Dio suggested worried about his friend's health.

For a while, Rood stares blankly at Dio.

Did he say something weird?

Knowing Rood, Dio bet he'd say something like '*Gasp* Dio actually said something reasonable for once?!'

*Gasp*

See. It's going as Dio imagined except this time Dio won't be taken by surrpise.

"The blueberry is talking!"

Eh?

Talking blueberry...

That's what he saw him as this whole time!

"I'm not a blueberry!"

"Ah, my bad..." Rood's fever is badly affecting his sight at the moment. "You're not a blueberry..."

Good. Good, he was finally coming to his senses.

"You're a honeyberry, right?"

Dio face faults at Rood's comment.

"I'm wrong? Then are you a marble berry?"

Dio leans closer to Rood keeping a firm grasp on Rood's shoulders.

"Rood, I beg of you... Please get some rest."

No more. This was too unbearable for Dio.

Soon afterwards, Lunette shows up with an oddly colored beverage in her hand.

"Yo, got the medicine ready for the patient. Huh?" Lunette notices the large number of people within the vicinity. "Gck, more worthless lumps of garbage..."

Last time she heard, only one person was sick. She never heard anything about visitors coming in. And worst of all, there was one person she absolutely detests.

"What's more is that this abomination is here..." Lunette stares at her mint haired teammate like he was a piece of trash. "Get away from that kid. You'll taint him."

Harsh...

Based on the look in her eyes, she was dead serious.

"Haha... You still don't like me as usual..." Despite Lunette's venomous words, her mint haired teammate wasn't fazed at all.

"Don't talk to me either. Get the hell out of here. Or better yet go die in a ditch. Your disgusting masochist germs will contaminate this room."

"How rude!" No surprise, he took offense to Lunette's words. "I just like getting hit, being scorned, ignored, and degraded only by Axel-nim alone! By no means am I a masochist as you say."

"And that's precisely the reason why he hates your guts..." Lunette truthfully spoke looking at her teammate like he was a bug.

...

Dio, Lidusis, Linus, and Lapis truly had nothing to say to that.

If everything what he said wasn't the definition of a masochist, then they didn't know what a masochist was.

"So what's that cup in your hand?" In an attempt to change the subject, Dio asked Lunette pointing to the eastern style tea cup in Lunette's hand.

"Oh, this? Nothing much. Just a herbal remedy I whipped up."

Ah~ So she can be nice if she wants to. Dio was glad to see someone care so much for his friend. He didn't think Lunette had such a sweet side to her seeing as how she hated all men except for her boss.

"I just made this so better drink up while it's hot..." As she made her way towards Rood, Lunettte accidentally tripped over a first aid kit that was mysteriously lying on the floor for some unknown reason. Luckily, she caught her balance before anything bad happened although she did spill a few drops of the drink on the floor.

*Sssssss*

Blue from shock, Dio, Lidusis, Linus, and Lapis could only watch as the floor where the oddly colored liquid touched slowly dissolved as if hit by acid.

"Now drink up!" Lunette cheerfully offered the drink to an absentminded Rood like nothing had happened.

"Wait! Don't go acting like that just didn't happen?!" Dio tries to prevent Lunette from forcing that hazardous concoction to his currently bedridden friend.

"Tch." Lunette clicked her tongue. "And here I thought I'd get to test out my latest formula."

"So you were planning on using Rood as a guinea pig?!" So much for being sweet.

"Can't be helped. This is my first time making medicine. It's not like there's anyone else here who's sick that I can test this out on. And this isn't even my specialty."

"Then what is your specialty?" Dio hesitantly asked. He had a bad feeling about this.

"Poison making." Lunette nonchalantly blurted out.

"Change! Someone please change the medicine woman! Possibly to someone more friendly and won't kill the patient!" Dio shouted out the door.

*SMACK*

Dio tenderly rubs the new large bump on his head.

"Listen, just because I specialize in making poisons doesn't mean I'm going to make something that'll kill your friend." Lunette rectified.

Isn't that already enough to make them suspicious? Who wouldn't be scared to leave their friend at the mercy of a poisoner who has absolutely no regard for her own teammates' lives. Like Dio, Lidusis and Lapis were worried about leaving Rood in Lunette's hands.

"I don't really care what happens to the kid. Normally, I wouldn't have even taken the request of making medicine for the brat, but this case is a bit different..."

Different? How so? The four students wondered what Lunette meant.

"Lunette!" A certain pale haired leader barges in the room.

"L-L-L-Lalita-gun!" Lunette's face turns as red as a tomato at the sight of her boss and object of her affections.

"How's Rood! Did your medicine work?"

Ah~ Now they understood. Normally, Lunete would have never agreed to it. That is if it wasn't at the request of her beloved boss.

"I'm so sorry, Lalita-gun. I haven't administered the treatment yet."

"Don't! You'll kill him?!" Dio pleaded. Drinking that poisonous concoction is a one way trip to hell.

"What was that you little punk..." Lunette snarled at Dio for his impudence. "You dare have the gall is talk back to Lalita-gun like that..."

"Th-That's not it..." Dio thinks up an excuse without getting himself killed by Lunette. "I-It's just that Rood is no good with herbal medicine!"

Now he sounded like a kid making up excuses not to drink his medicine.

Lalita didn't really give much thought to what Dio was saying as his attention was more caught on the bedridden Idun.

"Was it a cold?" Lalita wondered. That's what he heard at least but was that really the case.

"Y-Yeah, Rood caught a cold so he's st—"

Paying no heed to Dio's words, Lalita makes his way over to the sick child and without further instructions rips open Rood's shirt shocking the rest of the others Lunette especially. So much that she passed out on the spot. Seeing her beloved striping another guy was too much for her.

"Gyyyaaa! Rood?!" Dio shrieked in terror. Now he was more worried about his friend's chastity since the latter didn't even have the strength to get up from his bed as he was breathing heavily due to his high fever.

Ignoring the screams from the peanut gallery, Lalita continues to unbutton Rood's shirt and opens up his shirt revealing his smooth fair skin. He stops when he sees the bandages on Rood's left arm. It was just as he thought.

"Huh? Since when did Rood get hurt?" Dio didn't recall Rood getting injured before at least from what he knows.

Linus looked concerned seeing the bandaged arm on his idol.

"I'm a failure?! He got hurt and I didn't know it!" Lapis yells out in frustration as he falls to his knees.

Like the others, Lidusis didn't recall seeing Rood get hurt. It worried him that Rood had an injury on him. Did this have anything to do with the reason why Rood was so sick?

Lalita unravels the bandages around Rood's arm. Underneath the long piece of white cloth wasn't a cut or a bloody wound but a strange black purplish blotch on his arm. From the looks of it, it seemed like some kind of infection that was slowly spreading its way. Could this be the real reason why Rood fell ill?

The sight of the wound shocked the others.

Lidusis felt extremely guilty. Was this his fault? Was it because of him Rood ended up like this? All because he made Rood stay at Helios to protect him?

Dio finally knew why was it that Rood smelled a bit different from normal. It was because of that. And that was no ordinary injury. As his bangs obscure his eyes, Dio tightly clenches his fists.

Lapis curses himself for not noticing this sooner. How could he allow such a thing to happen on his watch?!

Linus pales at the sight of the injury.

Seeing the wound on Rood, this was just no ordinary cold. Rather was it even a cold that he caught in the first place? Rood didn't look too good at the moment either. Just one thing worried them more than anything else, was Rood going to be alright?

"W-What is that?" Lapis had never seen anything like this before.

"Did anything happen to him?" Lalita inquired leaving Lapis's question unanswered.

Thinking back, Lidusis, Dio, and Lapis remembered that there have been several incidents that did happen to them like the one in Ishuella and the more recent one at Helios. Like the other three, Linus remembered Rood getting mixed up in those situations too, but there was particular incident that brought chills to him that the other three didn't know of. Back when Linus recalled seeing the Black Thing attack Rood, Linus saw that Rood a scratch on his arm and at the exact same place where the black purplish toxin was spreading. Did that have anything to do with Rood's condition?

"I don't know how, but he was somehow infected by some strange mana. The mana is a different from the normal mana you use in magic. It's acting like a poison and slowly spreading over his body."

"Isn't there anything we can do?" Lapis couldn't just sit back and do nothing while Rood was suffering.

"Lunette..." Lalita turns to his pale pink haired friend.

"I remember that old crow made a remedy for something like this before. I think I can make a copy of it..."

"Really!" Lapis never felt so relieved before.

"However I'm missing some key components needed."

"I'll ask the others to help out." The mint haired masochist said.

"There should be a few you can find here."

"What are they?" Caught up in the heat, Lapis grabbed both of Lunette's arms. He needed to know no matter what unaware of the dreadful mistake he just committed.

"Kyyyaaa! Don't touch me?!" Disgusted by the touch of a filthy man, Lunette throws Lapis out the room dumbfounding Lidusis and Dio. Linus was too worried about Rood to care about anything else at the moment.

"Just so you know, Lunette really hates physical contact. She'll throw anyone who touches her man or woman. The only exception is the Boss." The mint haired masochist informed them.

"That would have been nice to know beforehand..."

If he had known that, he wouldn't have just carelessly touched her.

Not long afterwards, Axel came back in to send them out not because of Rood's condition but because it was time for their classes to meet up with their professors to discuss today's activities.

"To familiarize yourselves with the land, we'll be taking a hiking trip around Xatyre. And just as a reminder, this is still a training camp so you will still be learning." Orphell instructed. "I as well as the other professors will be giving various of information to you about the ecosystem and wildlife. Periodically, we'll make short stops and breaks. To accommodate the large number of students here, several groups will be formed each headed by a professor. And worry not, although the routes will differ, everyone will be visiting the same sites. Any questions before I announce the groups."

One student raised his hand.

"I don't see Rood here. Shouldn't we wait for him before we start?"

Hearing that, other students realized that they hadn't seen Rood either. Normally, he was with either Lidusis or Dio, but today he was nowhere to be found. Some of them heard about Rood collapsing in the changing room. Was he alright?

"Unfortunately, Chrishi is currently ill at the moment and won't be able to join us. He won't be participating in the sessions for a while until he's fully recovered."

That was a downer. Many of them were looking forward to hanging out with Rood and recruit him into their group. But it was a surprise to hear that Rood wasn't feeling well. They even almost forgot that he was supposed to be chronically ill since he's normally pretty healthy. Based on his usual actions, more so than the average person seeing as how he beat up a whole class of Klads and kept up with Professor Rowell at a sparring lesson the cerulean woman forced on him.

"Will he be alright?" The student asked again.

"Rest assured we already have several people looking after Chrishi and have informed the staff about his condition."

Rood... Dio internally sighed. He felt so useless. Just when Rood was most vulnerable and helpless, he couldn't do a single thing to help his own friend.

After the groups were announced, Lidusis, Dio, Lapis, Linus, and Shicmuon were placed in Professor Orphell's group along with the rest of his class and Lapis's class.

Right before they were sent back to their lessons, Lunette gave them a list of ingredients found in Xatyre needed for the medicine.

"Here's what you need in Xatyre. As for the rest, you can leave that to us." Lunette said to them as she handed them a piece of paper with the ingredients needed for Rood's medicine.

Dio didn't know why Rood got hurt like that, but he wasn't going to let him stay like that. He didn't know why he did this to Rood, but he was going to make him pay for harming his friend.

First on the list was: a pure seven colored Sirihart, an iris plant containing all the colors of a rainbow and are hard to cultivate due to the difficulty in growing one with all seven colors on them. Not all siriharts have all seven colors on them. Most generally have five or six colors. Finding one with seven colors is rather difficult. It's like trying to find a four leaf color. Fortunately, that wasn't on the list.

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