Chapter 54:

The Herbalist At The Village

A Terrible Evil Villain And Their Destiny

As Bryson entered the building where the boy disappeared to and he was greeted by a shocking sight. The entire building was filled with people laying across beds and quickly made sleeping areas. Coughing and pained moans came from everyone who was prone. The few people who were upright were busy trying to tend the sick.

“What in the world?” Nico breathed out in shock.

“Is this all villagers?” Bryson asked the boy who was waiting for them inside.

“No, the rest are in the other two buildings next to here.” The boy said looking around nervously.

Now that Bryson was able to get a good look at the boy, he seemed to be around the same age as him. Though he was somehow scrawnier than Bryson and looked far more lost.

“Where’s your… pops.” Bryson said before giving a small grimace. That doesn’t sound right coming from me.

“He’s upstairs and… he’s also sick.” The boy said bleakly, “He’s… he’s not doing well.” He said. It looked like he was about to cry.

Bryson gave an inward sigh, “What’s your name?”

“J-jimmy Hail.”

“Hail, I am here to help. I just need to talk to whoever is in charge right now so we can start.” Bryson said calmly.

“Alright, uh, she’s upstairs helping right now.” Jimmy said and led Nico and Bryson upstairs. They had to be careful where they stepped as everyone was squeezed together.

Walking upstairs they were greeted with a similar sight as below. More sick people lying on beds or on the floor with blankets over them. As they moved across the room a young girl moved past them.

“Ah, wait Florence!” Jimmy called out.

“Busy right now.” The girl called Florence said dismissively. In her arms was a large bundle of medical herbs and several towels.

“But they’re here. The people pops called are here!” He said hurriedly.

Florence took a pause and turned around, allowing Bryson to get a good look of her. She seemed older than Bryson but younger than Jimmy. She had long pink hair tied into a braid. She wore a navy-blue buttoned jacket with a cowl.

But what took Bryson aback was her eyes, her scarlet-red eyes stood in stark contrast with her pale face. Bryson felt a strange, unhinged madness behind her eyes. When she looked at him, he felt as though she was peering into her soul.

“You’re from the city?” Florence asked.

“Y-yes.” Bryson said taken slightly aback. He felt as if he was being judged just for existing before her and they haven’t even talked yet. There was just something strange about her, he couldn’t quite put his finger on what.

“Good, help me with the sick.” She said before handing over some towels to the three. They instinctively took the towels before Bryson realized what was happening.

“No, wait hold it.” He said, passing his bundle of towels to Jimmy.

“No time we need to help the patients.” Florence said ignoring him.

“They can wait.”

Florence turned around and glared at him with hostility he had not seen outside his family. “No they can’t. They need help now.” She said before turning back around.

“I could help a lot more if I know what’s happening.” Bryson argued.

Florence paused, turning back towards Bryson with an unconvinced look. Bryson used this opportunity to quickly continue, “I came here from Darlington. I have resources that may improve things.”

Florence looked over to the various sick villagers and listened to their pain moans, her priority focused on them.

“Just a quick pause, and you’ll be able to help them even more.” Bryson assured her.

After a very brief moment she gave a curt nod, “Ask quickly.” She said.

“Who are you, what is your name? Full name.” Bryson asked.

“I’m Florence Marsh. I practice medicine.”

“So you’re this village’s herbalist?”

“No, can you start helping now?” She asked impatiently.

“Wait, I’m not done yet. You need to calm down a bit.” Bryson said, “Now what do you mean you aren’t the village herbalist?”

“I’m not a resident here, I’ve been travelling around, trying to help villages where I can.”

“You’ve been traveling alone? For how long?” Bryson asked in disbelief.

“Is this relevant?”

“Uh, no. I guess not.” Bryson admitted. Questions for later. He thought as he moved on with the conversation, “Who’s actually in charge here then?”

“My pop.” Jimmy said.

“And he’s sick?” Bryson asked.

“Yes.” Florence said pointing at a large man who laid on a rickety old bed in the back, currently unconscious and sweating profusely.

“Who else is sick?”

“Everyone in the village aside from thirteen others.” She said.

“How many people are sick then?”


“This place houses over a hundred people? How?” Bryson asked in surprise, surely this entire village had barely enough houses to hold eighty people comfortably.

“A lot of these people live at small camps outside the village.” Jimmy said.

“How did they make it back here?”

“I brought them here.” Florence answered.

“What you dragged them here?” Bryson joked.

“Yes.” She said flatly.

Bryson blinked in surprise, looking at her serious face, “How- no, whatever. And they’re all in these buildings? Every villager?”

“Yes. The ones not affected are helping nurse the sick.”

“And how many of them have any medical experience?”


“How is that possible?”

“Our herbalist died to the disease.” Jimmy said solemnly.

“Great, do you know what this disease is?” Bryson asked Florence.

“Not the specific one. But I know the main symptoms.”

“Those being?”

“It only affects those who lack any magic. Anyone with even a small amount of magic is immune from the disease and can’t spread it.” She said indicating over to Jimmy, “I know the basics to treat it, but I lack the resources. Now can you help?”

“I do have more questions, but those can wait.” Bryson said. Answered the most important ones at least. Also now I get why she felt weird, she has magic in her, not a small amount either. He thought. At his current state he could sense more magical beings, but those with only a little magical talent were still normal in his eyes.

Bryson turned to Nico, “Tell the driver to go back to the ship and get all available medical staff and supplies and get back here quickly.”

“Yes sir.” Nico said nodding his head and turned to leave. Before he did, he handed over the towels he was holding over to Jimmy.

“Once the medical team is here, you’ll be able to figure out what’s going on and how best to deal with this.” Bryson said to Florence.

“Thank you.” Florence thanked Bryson, “Now help out with the patients.”

Bryson looked at Florence in disbelief, “I just helped you.”

“You can help more.”

“I-” Bryson paused before looking around and the sick villagers he watched as a small toddler cry out in pain.

“How long before your father wakes up?” Bryson asked Jimmy.

“It will be a while.” Florence answered.

With a small grimace he looked at the two, “What can I do to help?” He asked begrudgingly.