The divine hand of the other world
Editing: Cannongerbil, Ulti, Xenthur
I was walking home from Megumin’s daily explosion and came across the Axel vendor street.
“Come one, come all! Boy, do we have a treat for you guys today! High level ingredients! Fresh fruits and vegetables! You can’t find them anywhere else!”
The grocery stand owner was doing some kind of raffle event and yelling at the top of his lungs.
The produce in this world can be very hard to deal with.
They fly; they body slam you from the air; they squirt juice in your eyes. Things that should not be possible for things that grow in soil.
But, even the most troublesome ones are still at the mercy of nature, and right now it’s freezing outside. Some will fly away in search of warmth like birds, while others will hide and hibernate through the winter.
Because of this, they’re very expensive at this time of the year, and only nobles can afford the ones grown in greenhouses.
“Kazuma. What’s the matter? Did you want to pick up something for dinner tonight?”
“Nah, I have to carry you home, don’t I? Besides, the three of you are having a girls’ night out with Chris and Yunyun, right? Then I’ll just go out for dinner after I drop you off.”
As I was just about to leave the vendor street –
“Our prizes today are fresh produce rich in experience points! Pumpkins, watermelons, and matsutake! You heard right! The top prize is the incredibly rare matsutake!”
——The next day.
“My stomach hurts.”
I woke up much earlier than usual due to the throbbing pain in my abdomen.
“This is what you get for living such a depraved lifestyle. Did you get liver damage from drinking too much? It can’t be the food because we have the same meals. Just hurry up and go to the washroom or something.”
“This doesn’t feel like the kind of pain that a washroom trip would solve. Besides, I don’t have a fever, nor do I feel nauseous. Can you help me out and cast your healing magic? It doesn’t hurt too much, but it’s really uncomfortable.”
While I was grimacing and holding my abdomen, Aqua munched on some snacks on the coffee table without a hint of sympathy.
“If you’ve caught a disease, then I’m afraid healing magic won’t do anything. Even though they cause pain and suffering, germs are living things themselves. The most I can do is remove the poison they produce.”
“Are you for real?”
I thought magic could solve everything in this world, but it turns out there are weird rules like this in place.
She did end up casting a purification spell on me, which did absolutely nothing. It was then that Megumin took a break from her chess match to chime in.
“If your symptoms persisted after purification magic, then maybe it wasn’t a disease after all. Kazuma, when we had our girls’ night, what did you end up having for dinner?”
What I ate last night, huh…
“Well, I did win the top prize at the food vendor and get some high quality food from it. But that was supposed to be fresh food raised through magical cultivation.”
“How dare you go off and enjoy a feast by yourself! How can you do this to your comrades!? Leaving us out was despicable, you hikiNEET!”
“Right, what food was it!? Matsutake? Lobsters? Fugu? You need to come clean right now!”
While I was being interrogated by Aqua and Megumin, Darkness pondered aloud with her chin in hand.
“If you didn’t eat wild veggies, then it shouldn’t be food poisoning. You should go to the hospital and get it checked out, just in case. In the worst case, you could be carrying parasites inside of you right now.”
“Please don’t say that, now I feel really uncomfortable. We haven’t encountered any monsters recently because we haven’t done any quests… so it can’t be parasites… right?”
Megumin and Aqua cracked up at my nervousness.
“I don’t know about that. Parasites are supposed to be very smart, you know? It makes perfect sense for them to hide in these high quality vegetables because of the safety and warmth, especially in this time of the year.”
“Yeah, parasites are usually pretty easy to remove before cooking. But Kazuma, lacking in this world’s common sense, must’ve thought that he can just fry the food and eat it. Haha, punishment! This is punishment for feasting without us! Parasites are really scary, you know? You know that movie, Aliens? Just like that…”
I hurriedly covered up Aqua’s mouth before she could blurt out something truly terrifying.
“Okay, let’s go to the hospital! Even though I think there’s nothing serious, it’ll bad if I get you guys infected!”
Using my last ounce of courage to feign concern, I quickly left the house.
— On the outskirts of Axel, there stood a building that looked very, very strange.
“… This is a hospital?”
I stood still in front of this pitch black building as I felt weird vibes emanating from inside.
“Yeah, what are you doing? Hurry up! Don’t worry, there are no needles in this world.”
“No, I have a bad feeling about this building’s atmosphere…”
Aqua and the others, who came along despite my insistence otherwise, forcibly pushed me inside.
I took one look at the person who greeted me and immediately turned around.
“Hey, Kazuma, why are you so afraid of the hospital? Are you a child?! Don’t be scared, they put you under with magic if you’re under a lot of pain.”
“Yes, if Kazuma has a parasite inside of him living unchecked, then something terrible might happen down the line!”
Darkness and Megumin tried their best to assuage my fears, but they didn’t understand the root of my concerns.
“What kind of a hospital is this?! Where is the doctor!?”
A man stepped in front of me, wearing some kind of bone necklace and covered by a black cloak.
“I’m the doctor.”
“What kind of doctor are you?! A witch doctor?!”
The room sank into awkward silence.
“Uh, Kazuma, Witch Doctors are an advanced job in the medical career, did you not know that?”
“Why is that the case?! This doesn’t make any sense! Shouldn’t doctors be healers like priests or arch-priests!?
Aqua took me to a corner and explained the situation.
“Listen here, Kazuma. You know that sickness is caused by germs, right? But recovery magic is ineffective against germs. If you want to kill germs, then curses and voodoo are the best options.”
“Oh… This is another world, after all…”
But… to think that this would be the only recourse against germs… will it actually work?
“I should also mention that they also handle surgeries here. It requires the presence of a priest, and together they cast a powerful sleep spell and then work together to operate.”
“I will admit that I had no idea curses could be used like this… but I still can’t wrap my head around the logic of this world.”
Well, I’m convinced that this is indeed a proper hospital.
“Have you calmed down? Then come inside and tell me about the symptoms you’re experiencing.”
The witch doctor said as he gestured me towards a room deeper in.
Well, it can’t be helped, I guess. I’d like to avoid dying from eating strange food, so I should get myself treated…
“But, to think you have three beautiful ladies attending to you… makes one feel envious. Ahh, I kind of feel like having an accident now…”
I immediately bolted for the door after hearing the witch doctor talking to himself.
“Hey, what’s going on with you?! This is a renowned witch doctor whose curses are recognized far and wide, you know!”
“Kazuma, what’s wrong? Are you not satisfied with this doctor who possesses extraordinary skills and can curse even the whole world?!”
These praises, these high praises, how is any of that related to medicine?!
Held by Darkness and Megumin, I had no choice but to enter that room.
The witch doctor gave me an evil look once he saw those two holding my hands.
“So, what brings you here today?”
“Kazuma here has been complaining of a stomach ache since this morning.”
Aqua replied in my stead, and the witch doctor repeatedly nodded his head.
“Well, it could be a lot of things, so let’s cut him open and find out.”
“Hey! This guy is a quack! I’m outta here! L-Let go! LET ME GO!”
Megumin and Darkness firmly held me down; they must’ve not heard the shit he said earlier.
“You can leave the recovery magic to me. Doctor, please help Kazuma.”
“Leave it to me, it doesn’t look like a disease to me. I’ve never seen such an energetic patient. You, just relax, nothing bad is going to happen. We’re just going to find out what’s wrong.”
“How can I let you guys cut me up just for something as little as a cough?! Wh-What are doing?! What spell is that?! HEY, AQUA, STOP THIS MAN! DARKNESS, MEGUMIN! THIS GUY IS A QUACK, DON’T LET HIM CUT ME UP! LET GO…”
Just as I remembered to use Drain Touch on those two, the witch doctor raised his hand and…
“Good, take a deep breath, relax… relax… don’t be afraid, let the sleeping curse take over… … …”
— It was dark outside when I finally came to.
Looks like I was carried home while I was asleep. I found myself in my bed, and the first thing I saw was Aqua hunched over a chair, deep asleep.
“Oh, you’re awake, Kazuma. I was worried that ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!?”
“Hey, what are doing to Megumin all of ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!?”
I immediately cast Drain Touch on Darkness and Megumin, who were also on chairs next to my bed.
“How dare you two sell me out to that strange guy! Why do I need a surgery just for a stomach ache?! I almost lost my life over this!”
“Ahhhhhhh s-stop, or I won’t be able to cast Explosion today! The treatment should have worked, right?! You shouldn’t be hurting anymore, right!?”
“Right, aren’t you all better?! If you keep draining me… Oh…oh… wait, just a bit more… Wait, no, when you’re more intense it feels ….”
“Ah? You’re right, I do feel much better… But, if I could sleep it off, then why did that uncle have to perform surgery on me?”
Seems like the ruckus woke Aqua, as she opened her eyes and looked around. And I immediately took offense at the first words out of her mouth.
“Fwahhhh. Ara, good morning, Kazuma. How do you feel? You were in a lot of danger, you know.”
“Hey, it was just a stomach ache, don’t exaggerate. There’s no way that was a parasite, right? You guys were just blindly guessing, right…?”
“Watermelon, Kazuma, watermelon. You didn’t spit out the seed properly. Watermelons don’t care if it’s in a monster’s stomach or anywhere else, they’ll grow. The seeds in your stomach were sprouting, you know.”
“Really? That’s way too scary.”
There really ought to be a limit on how troublesome crops can be in this world; I never imagined watermelons can be this scary.
“Sigh, if that’s the case, then my behavior was awful. That was a really skilled doctor…”
I need to apologize to him and thank him properly.
“Oh right, he told me to tell you that he also treated some other part of you. He didn’t specify what, though.”
I tilted my head at Aqua’s message
— Suddenly, I noticed, and put my hand under the blanket and patted my lower half.
… And then, I decided that I definitely will go to visit this excellent and skilled doctor tomorrow to give my thanks.
“Hey, Kazuma, are you still feeling unwell? What else did he treat? Do you know?”
I didn’t answer Darkness’ question and instead reminisced about my homeland of Japan, where, according to a survey, about 80% of Japanese males…