Entering our room was an old man who seemed rather surprised at seeing us. Walking over with what appeared to be some difficulty, the man adopted a smile before saying:
“It seems my last moments will be accompanied by two young lasses *cough* *cough*. I guess it’d be a better ending than at the hands of brother Michael. All he’ll do is feed me false hope before I kick the bucket. Uhehehe”
Hearing his rather pessimistic words, I looked at the old man and said to him:
“My friend here knows how to use healing magic, she’ll try her best to get rid of your disease.”
“Oh, you don’t need to comfort me lassie, I know healing magic won’t cure me. I can already hear the grim reaper knocking on my door *cough* cough*. If your friend could just use her magic to make the pain go away for a while, then hopefully I will die soon and experience a peaceful death surrounded by you two young beauties *cough*.”
Hearing the words from the old man who seemed prepared to die, I looked at him seriously as I said:
“Then, are you saying you don’t want to live anymore?”
As the old man was making his way to the wooden bed assisted by Ailya, he turned to look at me with his smile still on his face. However, after seeing the serious expression on his face, the man looked at me seriously as he said:
“The pain is honestly too much at this point. The only reason I haven’t done myself in is because I’m afraid of dying in front of my family. My son brought me here hoping that I’ll be cured, but honestly, *cough* *cough* If I could die without pain, then that’s all I could wish for at the moment.?”
“What if we could give you what you want?”
“Are you saying you’ll kill me yourself in a painless manner? Hehehehe, Don’t you know that’s a sin young lady, or do you not care?”
“So… do you want us to?”
Once again seeing that I was serious, the old man’s expression that had turned slightly playful became solemn once more. Not saying anything else, the old man lied down on his bed and closed his eyes. Once he had done this, Ailya began to use her healing magic on him as the old man’s expression relaxed a bit. Once Ailya had stopped, I approached the old man and held his hand. Opening his eyes to look at me, I gave the old man a wry smile before asking:
“What is your name sir?”
“*Cough* Turned 74 a month ago.”
“Do you know what disease you have.”
“Can’t say I know, but it’s making me want to rip out my lungs, uhehehe *cough* *cough*”
Nodding at his answers, I looked him in the eye one last time before saying:
“Then, goodbye, Mr. Malvert.”
At that moment, Malvert’s eyes flashed momentarily with fear before his expression relaxed and a look of peace appeared on his face. Closing his eyes, the man allowed me to continue without putting up a struggle as I put him to sleep. Once he was asleep, I turned to Ailya and said:
“He’s in a coma for the moment, but it won’t be long before he dies. Use your [Soul Devourer] as soon as he dies and take the rest of his soul. From now on, try to devour the souls of those who seem moribund. I doubt most people will be as eager to die as him, so don’t give them any offers like we just did. Instead, just put them to sleep and wait for them to die. Once your ability levels up like mine, then you can take their souls from them without needing to wait. Also, try to save those who seem savable. We don't want to arouse the suspicion of the church after all.”
Nodding in understanding, Ailya turned to look at the old man as she waited for his death. As for me, I was satisfied that my hypothesis had turned out to be true.
Considering magic was available, I was hoping that churches would play the role of hospitals for the poor. There was a chance that when we arrived, most people would be easily cured as a result of magic. Thankfully however, that did not appear to be the case. I was thinking that with those who were capable of using magic being rare, even more so those who would be users of light magic, that people who would have the ability to cure the disease of others would most likely be a small minority, and would probably be found employed by the upper classes anyway. Therefore, I had hoped that we would find many sick in church who were near death’s door as had been seen in hospitals in the past.
With simple healing magic not being able to cure disease, as I had already known this thanks to using [Veritas] on Ailya’s [Heal], as well as how scarce potions and elixirs appeared to be. It seemed that most of the poor only made the journey to the church once they were already at a late stage of their disease, and would therefore be offered treatment. Since the church couldn't just give their potions away to anyone who came knocking on their door, it was likely that people who were not seriously sick were refused treatment if someone capable of using healing magic wasn’t present to treat them.
As for any of the two of us getting sick, I was aware that the vitality gained from [Soul Devourer] was capable of curing illness as well as physical injuries. It was most likely thanks to this that I had avoided dying of any disease during my time in this world so far, as it was unlikely that my immune system would be able to handle the foreign bacteria and viruses present in this world.
One thing I had become sure of in my time here, was that most people couldn’t see or even have a way to measure the presence of souls. Regardless of this, I didn’t want to use my [Soul Devourer] in an open area and risk it being discovered for obvious reasons. That’s why, in this closed off room, I was confident that the use of our [Soul Devourer] would go completely unnoticed. And more importantly, that we had found an easy way to gain xp as well as increase the tier of [Soul Devourer], something that would not do much in the way of progress by us just simply killing insects.
While I was thinking about this, I was also making my way to the desk in order to properly record Malvert’s death on one of the scrolls. Once this was done, I disposed of his body as had been instructed by the priest before making my way outside and calling for the next person who needed our services…