Chapter 28 - Co-researchers

Translation: Thrax

Editing: Tohru

TN: Hello, sorry for the hiatus, had a lot of stuff going on, plan to do 2 per week for the next 3 weeks to catch up, so stay tuned.

A year has passed since then, and as we turned thirteen, Spruce’s research has been visibly successful.

Serum-based treatment for diphtheria and tetanus had almost been established. Now, horses with diphtheria and tetanus antibodies were being kept at the institute's stables in preparation for an outbreak of patients. In the event of an outbreak, we are now prepared to draw the blood from these horses, make serum, and administer it. Pretty amazing.

“That’s why I added Lady Serea’s name to this research paper as a co-researcher.”

“No, no, no! I haven’t done something so grandiose. I just told you a couple of things I knew. That's all! It’s unthinkable for me to be added as a co-researcher!”

We visited the laboratory for the first time in a while. Spruce, who was excited as usual, happily reported all of the results of the research.

I have to say though, it’s amazing of him to even put her name as a co-researcher!

“I’d rather you do that referring to publishing the paper? after its safety has been confirmed. If we mess anything up, casualties will appear.”

“As you warned us, we check for allergic reactions before administering the drug. Also, thanks to the popularisation of medical records, we have a history of past treatments, which has helped prevent anaphylaxis. It is truly all thanks to Lady Serea.”

Serea's fame in the medical community is also on the rise. It makes me a bit happy too.

More importantly, we can expect this to improve the influence Serea has.

“And now I’m stuck at a bit of a standstill with the practical applications of the blood serum treatment. It interests me greatly that it is supposedly effective against snake venom, but there are no venomous snakes or spiders in our country. There are examples of adventurers losing their lives to hydra attacks in faraway countries, but we can’t really catch a hydra to collect venom from.”


We have to capture the monsters alive, don't we? Serea told me about a doctor named Hideyo Noguchi who kept many poisonous snakes and collected their venom to study serums, but it looks like we won’t be doing that in this country.

“I was able to prove the existence of ‘antibodies’ in the blood serum. They are able to neutralise the toxins that bacteria produce. I believe that is the reason why it also works on snake venom. The thing that actually kills the bacteria, treats the illness, and makes immunity is our body itself. I’m currently thinking if there is a way for us to attack the bacteria directly, but I’ve reached an impasse…”

Even though it could already be said that Spruce has achieved enough, the path of medicine is endless.

The laboratory has grown in size, and the number of petri dishes in which the bacteria are cultured has also increased.

The colourful bacteria are growing in the incubator.

“Here's diphtheria, here's tetanus, and here's botulinum. Thanks to the microscope, we can now isolate and culture many bacteria. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococcus .......”

“That's amazing.”

“It’s still quite lacking. Rabies, smallpox, common colds, and many other diseases that are infectious but for which no bacteria can be found. The source of these outbreaks is still completely unknown.”

Even Serea is stumped by this. A 10 year olds knowledge probably doesn’t go that far.

“Sir, there's a sanitation worker here to see you!”

“A-ah, wait a minute. The prince is here right now!”

Spruce was panicking as he told the other researcher.

“The two of us will stay put, please go see what he needs. It seems urgent, right?”

“Ah! No, no, no! I can’t just have the prince wait! You are an important patron of my research.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“I’m really sorry, I’ll be right back!”

After saying that, he left the lab.

“……I wonder if I can drink this?”

Spruce served me a beaker of tea boiled using an alcohol lamp, but after showing me such a variety of bacteria, I was indeed not inclined to drink it…… Alcohol can also be used as fuel like this. Unlike vegetable oil lamps, there is no soot and no smell, so it has become popular at tea parties among the upper class. I know that it was originally industrialised for medical use, so I feel like using it like this is a waste. [EN-1]

Serea wanders around the lab and sees a loaf of bread left on Spruce's desk. When did you get the bread? ....... It's mouldy. He really is obsessed with research, isn’t he?

Serea picks up the old bread and opens the incubator. [TN-1]

Serea? No, you can't do that! You can't do that without permission. It's dangerous!

Serea puts her finger in front of her mouth and shushes me.

Eh? What are you doing?

She takes the liberty of opening a petri dish, scraping off the blue mould from the bread and sprinkling it around.

What the!?

"(What are you doing, Serea!)"

"(It's an experiment!)"

Smiling mischievously, she puts the petri dish back in the incubator, removes the wick from the alcohol lamp, sprinkles alcohol on her palm, and rubs it in. Then, she washes her hands with soap in the wash basin and sprinkles the mouldy bread with alcohol before throwing it in the kitchen garbage.

“You mustn't tell anyone.”

“You’re going to trouble the doctor. Blue mould is going to grow now. What are you going to do if you mess up his research?”

I have no idea why Serea is pulling a prank like this.

Spruce came back.

“I'm sorry to keep you waiting. I was told that a horse was sick, so I went to check it out. Explaining everything is still a pain.”

“Back to the rabies and smallpox we were talking about before.”

When Serea returned to the story, Spruce leaned forward with a twinkle in his eye.


“Those are called viruses, they are supposedly so small you can’t even see them using a microscope. You can’t grow them on a petri dish either.”


Spruce is disappointed.

“……There is nothing we can do against a germ we can’t even detect……”

Medicine is amazing in Serea’s previous world. It means they proved such a thing exists.

On the carriage ride home, I asked Serea why she did that, and she said, "You can make medicine from blue mould. I was surprised.

“There was a doctor who was experimenting with culturing bacteria in a petri dish like Mr. Spruce, but the petri dish got mouldy. At first, he thought it was a failure, but when he looked closer, he found that the blue mould had dissolved the bacteria on the petri dish. He discovered that the blue mould had the power to kill the bacteria. He extracted it and made a drug called penicillin, which is like a cure for everything.”

“How did you know that story?”

“It comes up in a story called ‘Failure is the mother of success’, everyone in my country knows it.”

“……That’s amazing. If that’s the case, you should have explained it like that from the start.”

“I thought that Spruce would figure it out on his own for sure.”

“Did you really hate being made a co-researcher that much?”

“I hate it!”

Why? I don’t get it.

Well, it doesn’t matter. I hope it gets better in the future.

“What about rabies and smallpox?”

“If we had formalin, we could weaken the virus and make a vaccine, but we don't have electron microscopes, so the discovery of the virus is still a long way off.”

I'm sorry, I don't understand a word of what you are saying.

“Before that, I think we should explain that people who get over cowpox won’t be able to get infected with smallpox anymore.”

I'm sorry Serea, I don't understand a word of what you are saying now either.

There is a convenience store of Hans Trading Company on the street corner that we passed by in the carriage.

It seems to be doing well. Serea also expected this. Many customers come here, not only at night and early in the morning, but also during the daytime. Bento boxes and beverages seem to sell well. [TN-2]

Tea is something that we used to drink hot, but we were surprised to find that bottled cold tea sells well! I was surprised. This is a great change of mindset that turns our stereotype of tea as something hot on its head.

The fact that they are open anytime and can be shopped at any time has also changed the lifestyle of some citizens. More and more people are not cooking for themselves, but instead are making do with bento lunches.

Some people who used to have their mothers or wives make lunch boxes for them have started to eat at convenience stores. This is only a small portion of the population though.

There are some people concerned that this would lead to people marrying much later in life. [TN-3]

Of course, it costs extra money to buy a boxed lunch at a store compared to making one yourself. Convenience store bento are mass-produced in Hans' restaurants in the city, so a concentration of wealth is beginning to occur.

Dependence on convenience stores certainly makes life easier. You can work late into the night.

‘Thanks to convenience stores you can work longer hours, but the extra money you make gets syphoned to the store’ is one of the criticisms that came out.

There are still only two stores in the capital, they don’t have a huge influence yet.

But as Serea said, we may have to think about regulation before the city becomes full of convenience stores and drives existing retailers and grocery stores out of business one after another.

“Right now, it’s open from seven to eleven, but they may soon start working twenty-four hours a day.”

Serea looks out the carriage window at the store and says something like that.

“Twenty-four hours?! Is there anyone who would work at a store like that!?”

“You take turns tending to the shop.”

“I wonder if anyone comes to shop so late at night……”

“Convenience stores have the power to change people’s lives.”

“That’s scary……”

They are expanding their influence steadily. The daughter of Hans Trading Company, Lins, is fearsome. We must continue to keep an eye on her in the future.

[TN-1] Petri dishes are stored in an incubator in order for the bacteria to grow properly

[TN-2] Just in case someone doesn’t know, a bento box is basically a lunch box, they are often sold in shops in Japan. People also make them at home.

[TN-3] I mean, if your only reason to marry is to have someone cook for you, i dunno man…… maybe it isn’t for you.

[EN-1] As someone with asthma from birth, no. It’s not.

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