For a while, Kalion couldn’t say a word. After a long silence, he finally managed, although stuttering: “M-menstrual cr-cramps?”
“Yes, Sir. Just in case you don’t know what it is—”
“No, no. I know enough.”
A long time ago, when he was studying a book on muscles, he had read an explanation about menstrual cramps. Kalion felt even more embarrassed. He knew that it involved several symptoms and other levels of pain depending on the person. Still, did it hurt enough to cause death? To faint?
He thought about when Erna came out of the ruin. Her blanched face, the large beads of sweat on her face, her tightly shut eyes that refused to open even when her name was called… Seeing her curling her shivering body had made it seem like she would die that very second.
“Is it seriously menstrual cramps? And not another illness?” Kalion inquired further.
“Yes. I am done confirming it,” the doctor assured. “On top of that, Ms. Orpé said that Madam Erna was always like this,” she added.
Kalion exhaled in relief, “So it isn’t a terminal illness? There is no threat to her life?”
The doctor nodded at each of Kalion’s questions.
“No, sir. It’s just critical pain. There are no other problems.”
At the doctor’s certainty, Kalion leaned back on the sofa like he, too, was on the verge of fainting. Somehow, Erna had turned out okay. That was all he needed.
The doctor continued to explain to Kalion, who was sprawled on the couch.
“Madam Erna is definitely in more critical pain compared to others. As Ms. Orpé said, she has been in this terrible condition for a few days now. On top of that, lately, there have been many things that Madam Erna has had to worry about. The hunting of the demons last time in the lake area, and even the problem with the delegates from Haband…”
Kalion nodded weakly at the doctor’s words. There’d definitely been some things going on lately. It was obvious that those problems had made Erna even more tired…
“Still, isn’t the biggest problem you, Lord Kalion?”
Suddenly, Kalion became the culprit of everything that’d happened. Kalion looked at the doctor and blinked blankly. Before long, she was looking at him with a sharp look in her eyes.
It was, indeed, out of line for her to look at a grand duke in such a way, but right now their relationship was more like doctor and guardian of a patient than servant and grand duke. As such, she decided to say what she had to say.
“As a citizen, I am glad that you two have a good relationship, but there is a problem, if I should look from a doctor’s standpoint. First, I am talking about the bite marks on Madam Erna’s chest and shoulders.”
Kalion shot straight up at her words.
“H-h-how d-did you…”
“How did I what? I saw them when I was changing her clothes, sir. That’s not important for now. Madam Erna’s skin is rather fragile, so her marks and bruises remain for quite a long time. When the same kind of bruise is made in the same area it doesn’t go away and turns into a scar. And on top of that, it is easy for that area to become more fragile. So please refrain from it in moderation.”
Kalion stared at the window for a second. Embarrassment rushed at him like a wave. Should I jump out of the window? he thought.
“Uh, uh, I…”
Not knowing how in the world he could reply, all that came through his lips was a stutter.
“For now I plan to restrict anyone from visiting Madam Erna for a week, Lord Kalion. So you don’t have t—”
“Why? For what?”
Kalion, who had been looking for a good place to escape because his entire face was turning red, swiftly whipped his head back to the doctor.
The doctor grinned at the way the intimidating Kalion’s vigor had changed in a split second. She then said, “I mean Madam Erna. First of all, she is still sleeping after taking her medicine, so you won’t be able to meet her even if you go to see her, Lord Kalion. Ms. Orpé is in front of the door, standing firmly so that no one comes inside.”
Orpé really was one to put her life on the line for Erna. On top of that, since the doctor had said that Erna was sleeping after having taken medicine, he didn’t want to wake her.
“I shall leave now.” The doctor bobbed her head goodbye and left the door, leaving Kalion behind to sink back down into the sofa.
“Is everything fine now since she is okay?” Kalion wondered aloud. He sat still for a while before jumping up from his seat, approaching the bookshelf, and looking through a book. “It’s here somewhere,” he muttered.
Soon after, he found the book listing every part of the human body, and after finding the section discussing menstrual cramps he began to read through the content quickly. A sparkle appeared in his eyes at the last line he read.