< — The Taran Duke’s Family Doctor — > (4)
“Anna, your employment contract has been terminated. You will be given a temporary employment contract for the time being.”
Jerome’s tone had a certain edge to it. Anna replied weakly and looked through the document on the table one by one. She then signed a lifelong confidentiality agreement to keep the events from her time as doctor, secret.
“You have broken our trust. You will not be allowed to go out until your temporary employment is over and your contact will be limited to a minimal amount of people. You are forbidden from meeting the doctor.”
“Even after your employment is over, you will be watched to see whom you meet with. This will continue until we are sure that you will adhere strictly to the contract of confidentiality you have signed. I suggest you do not act in any manner that would create doubts.”
Living under surveillance with no known end. Anna realized how much of a mistake she’d made. Until she came to the Ducal House, she had little to no experience with treating nobles. She had no idea of the rules of the noble world and the habits of those living in it.
When she lived under the Duke, no one dared to treat her carelessly. They were all amicable and a few of her superiors treated her with respect. But she didn’t conduct herself cautiously as a noble’s doctor and was complacent. She would probably find out later, just how much she had been treated with generosity and humanely.
“If possible, can I meet Sir Philip one last time? He has taught me a lot. I would like to give him my last greetings.”
“I will ask Master.”
* * *
Philip knew something had gone wrong when Anna didn’t contact him for a day, and when she didn’t find him till the Duke returned, he knew it had completely gone astray.
When one looked at the Duchess’ current situation, one could assume that the Duchess would be desperate for a child. Hence, Philip thought that if the Duchess knew there was a cure, she would jump at the opportunity.
He couldn’t tell where things started to go wrong. Anna came to see him about ten days after the Duke returned, looking rather crest fallen.
“Milady refuses to meet you, Philip. By now, his Grace the Duke has probably heard of the situation and knows everything. Do not worry. I explained it well.”
A failure. Philip had already guessed so but when it was confirmed, he became frustrated. How come? How could he stop here when his goal was right in front of him?However his face did not reveal any of his internal anxiety.
“Anna, you are going through such a hard time because of me.”
“No. I was the one who was thoughtless. Sir Philip and I cannot meet anymore. I will also be quitting my post very soon.”
“Oh? Then Anna is receiving all the punishment from this. I feel bad, this happened because of me.”
‘This is the worst.’
To think Anna would be resigning as from her post as doctor. This meant his access to the Duke would be completely gone.
“It is a position more than I deserved. Everything is going back as it was.”
“When you talked to the Madam, you should not have said that I was the Duke’s doctor. If his Grace the Duke says not to meet, the Duchess cannot readily agree to do so.”
“In any case, one cannot meet you and avoid the eyes watching you.”
“Well, that is true.”
Philip appeared outwardly convinced but inwardly he clicked his tongue. What an inflexible woman. Because there were eyes on him, the best chance was when the Duke of Taran was absent. If the Duchess was firmly decided on seeing Philip, no one other than the Duke of Taran had the authority to stop it.
Of course, the Duke would hear of it later but if it means that he could talk to the Duchess, Philip would do whatever he could.
“So, what do plan to do after quitting? If you quit, it’s a great loss of talent, even for the Ducal House.” (Philip)
“Talent you say. I couldn’t find a cure for Milady and did nothing but prescribe headache medicine once or twice a month. On the contrary, I was over compensated.”
Philip’s eyes lit up momentarily.
“Migraines, it’s a common symptom among women.”
“Ah yes. It is a common symptom among women indeed.”
A touch of madness appeared in Philip’s eyes but disappeared as fast as it came. Anna didn’t discover anything.
“I know a very good prescription for headache. Perhaps you can call it compensation but I give it as a gift. The effect is really good.” (Philip)
“Isn’t that also part of your family’s vison? Such a precious thing…”
“I have no intention of making a living through medicine but Anna cannot live like me. If a good medicine can be of use to many people then it’s a good thing.”
“Ah. Philip. Thank you so much. Even till the end, you take care of me.”
“The prescription will be sent down in a few days. This time, the prescription will have all the herbs listed so you don’t have to worry about that part.”
After Anna left, a small smile spread across Philip’s lips as he mumbled to himself.
“Well then, shall I make a headache medicine?”
Never losing sight of even the smallest chance. This was Philip’s way of life.
Philip never did anything that would cause people to be suspicious of him. If he seemed even the slightest bit dangerous, the Duke of Taran would not have spared his life. The Philip that the Taran Duke knew was merely a stubborn and foolish old doctor.
The allied relationship between the Taran family and Philip’s family was a relationship at knife’s-edge. So the method of survival Philip chose was to lower himself.
Without Philip’s family, the Taran bloodline could not continue but Philip never tried to use that fact. The alliance between the two families could only last in the past because their interests aligned.
For generations, many lunatics headed the Taran family. Most seemed fine on the outside but inwardly they had a few screws lose. The late Duke was also something else. The only way Philip survived was by humoring the late Duke’s feelings. Compared to the late Duke, the current Taran Duke’s nature was rather clean.
The medicine to neutralize the mugwort’s efficacy was a final product made through repeated experiments filled with trial and error. The small treatments used before the final result were all written down in the notebook passed down from generation to generation.
‘Since the Duchess knows the vanilla scent…it has to be removed.’
Of course, the efficacy would fall. It would also take twice as much to neutralize the mugwort’s efficacy in one to three years and the possibility of pregnancy would also fall significantly. The rest was up to the heavens.
However, the heavens had never betrayed Philip before. It wasn’t a lie to say he knew a very effective medicine for headache. There was certainly such a medicine in his family’s vision.
All he had to do was make a new drug by mixing the prescription of the headache medicine and that of the neutralizing medicine. It may take some time but his talent in medicine was acknowledged by even his late father who was stingy with praise.
* * *
Sometime later, Anna got her hands on the prescription for the headache medicine. Philip left Roam not long after she received it. As always, the eyes watching Philip followed him till he had left the city of Roam completely, then they withdrew their surveillance.
Anna looked at the prescription in wonder.
“So one could combine herbs this way. How revolutionary.”
She tested it on herself when she got a headache and the effect went beyond expectations.
Usually when one took medicine for headache, the heavy feeling in one’s head would continue for a short while but when she took this medicine, her head felt light and clear, like waking up in the morning after a refreshing sleep.
Anna began prescribing this medicine to the women of the castle that complained of headaches and their reactions were no different from Anna’s. Sometimes the women that suffered from frequent migraines would flock to Anna to ask for a month’s worth of medicine.
When Lucia called Anna in for a headache, Anna brought in the new drug.
“Anna, the medicine this time works really well.”
As Lucia’s periodic migraines tended to increase her irritability, Lucia truly admired the quick calming effect of the medicine.
“If you like it, I can make a sufficient amount before I leave.”
“I’d appreciate that.”
🎵 …Deception(An outrage!)
Disgrace (For shame!)
He was the trouble the moment he came… 🎵
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