Chapter 19: Acupuncture (3)
Holy magic is magic that consumes “holy power” rather than mana.
You borrow the power of the gods to heal and purify people.
It also defeats beings that emanate evil energy and protects the innocent from them.
These marvelous miraculous acts, which are virtuous in their own right, lead onlookers to recognize a transcendent being called God.
Technically, I didn’t believe in God.
Not in real life.
But here, it’s different.
It’s not a matter of personal belief, it’s a self-evident truth.
Gods and demons exist here.
The Major God is a benevolent deity who provides divine power to priests who serve him steadfastly.
Demons, on the other hand, are obvious.
They are simply demonic deities.
Occasionally, there are fanatical humans who worship and serve demons as if they were gods.
Basically, humans serve the gods and demons serve the demons.
You don’t have to be a priest to follow the gods faithfully.
The influence of the gods on earth is limited, so as long as you don’t chant their names in the face of imminent death, you’ll be fine.
The Holy Land, however, is different.
Most of the citizens of the Holy Land serve their gods faithfully.
Holy power is a mysterious thing, and not all citizens can wield it, but the percentage of clergy from the Holy Land is very high.
There is one man who was falsely accused and exiled from this noble nation.
His name is Anthony and he was a merchant with a large business in the Holy Land.
He was a successful businessman, and a man who was faithful to his God, as was his character.
Though his wife had passed away, the fruit of their union remained.
His daughter remained with him, and they lived happily in their own way.
This story would have been much more peaceful if a high priest in the Holy Land had been like Anthony, content and grateful for what he had.
As is often the case, being able to borrow and use the power of a god with a good disposition didn’t mean that everyone had a good heart.
Perhaps, at first, the high priest was purely praising and praying to the gods but human greed is not so benign.
The high priest was greedy, very greedy.
His cunning, snake-like eyes reflected the wealth of Anthony and his deep faith in God.
Anthony the merchant had plenty of money so he demanded a large sum of money, or in other words, a bribe, for his offerings to the gods.
Anthony had great faith in the gods.
If it was truly an offering to the gods, he was ready to give it whenever the gods wanted it and however the gods wanted it but Anthony was a businessman.
He was shrewd enough to recognize the tricks of the high-ranking cleric who suddenly barged in with his sly tongue.
It would have been easy to pay and move on but Anthony was a very devout man.
He refused to give in to a greedy high priest who had defied the will of God.
As a result, Anthony was unable to overcome the power of the high priest.
The venomous priest resented the lowly merchant who dared not listen to him.
He eventually framed Anthony, seized his property, and banished him from the Holy Land.
Anthony fled to another country with what little he had, but his business was not as successful as it had been.
The rumor of his expulsion from the Holy Land had spread like wildfire.
The word of the high priest had reached far beyond the Holy Land.
Still, he was always content and grateful for what he had, and he worked hard to see his daughter grow up.
Until, alas, his daughter fell ill.
As he watched his daughter struggle with an unexplained illness, he visited a local priest but the priests avoided him because they couldn’t stand up to the high priest from the Holy Land.
Bad rumors about him had already spread and even when he declared that he would give all of his remaining wealth, 2000 gold, no one would come to his aid.
Not even the clerics who wielded divine power or even the apothecary who lived nearby.
All he could find were quacks and charlatans who knew nothing about disease or medical technology.
And so he lives, day in and day out, by his daughter’s side, never knowing when she will wake up.
This is the story of the faithful Anthony, who would later be saved by the saint.
When the saint learns of the case, she uses internal politics to overthrow a high-ranking priest and immediately visits Anthony to cure his daughter.
From that point on, Anthony’s business is back on track, and he has become the saint’s source of funding.
It’s an anecdote from an episode about a saint, and I saw it in the middle of the game and wondered, “Could the player try to solve it first?”
It was a question I was able to ask because I knew the game had a lot of depth and a lot of freedom.
If the player went to his daughter and cured her, he would be rewarded.
My thoughts were correct.
As long as you had a character with divine powers, such as a cleric or paladin, and you were at a certain level, you could heal Anthony’s daughter.
The rewards were there for the taking.
After posting my strategy in the game community.
[Can other classes except cleric and paladin work?]
Faced with such comments, I was determined to find a way to cure her without resorting to holy powers.
Eventually, after several attempts, I found the answer: acupuncture.
His daughter was suffering from a rare disease called mana exhaustion.
Mana exhaustion is a state of unconsciousness that occurs when the body has used up all of its mana.
While mana exhaustion is strictly an “ailment,” his daughter was suffering from a “disease,” with exhaustion followed by unconsciousness.
Knowing that mana exhaustion can be treated in-game with acupuncture, I took up the challenge.
No other medical skills worked.
Acupuncture is acupuncture, but there was a level requirement. You had to be at least level 5 in the Acupuncture skill.
There was even a mini-game when treating Anthony’s daughter.
Players had to listen to a monologue as their character treated Anthony’s daughter, locate the acupuncture points, and place the needles in the correct order.
I still remember the process, but my acupuncture skill is level 1.
‘If it doesn’t work…I have no choice but to invest my remaining skill points.’
As the skill level increases, my ability to perform acupuncture will increase steeply.
There is still a difference of two skill levels, but if I remember the order and position of the needles, I don’t think I’ll have any problems.
The night is already ripe so I slip into my familiar robes and, as usual, sneak out of the academy without anyone noticing.
‘Alas, Lord Henerys.
Why hast thou brought this trial upon me?’
Anthony was despairing but he did not blame God.
He believed that everything was working out according to God’s will.
He believed so strongly that it was all for the best, but he couldn’t help the pain in his heart as he idly stroked his daughter’s face beside him.
A fine painting of his wife hung in the center of the room, turned upside down, out of sight as he couldn’t bear to look at her face.
His daughter lay motionless in bed, unwilling to get up.
He could still see the bright smile on her face, the way she’d come running to him, calling him ‘daddy’ when she’d lost her mother.
In the darkness of the room, a single lamp burns quietly.
He watched her for a long time but then a knock at the door came from the last person to leave, the one who had refused his offer.
Anthony knew he would repay her someday, if only she could be cured.
A woman opened the door and walked in.
Once inside the room, she bowed slightly and got straight to the point.
“We have a visitor who claims to be able to heal you, Emilia, but… He seems to be blind.”
“There was a pure white bandage around his eyes.”
“How did the blind man get here?”
“He found his way here by asking people around him for directions.
From what I’ve heard, he seems to possess a mysterious power called ‘clairvoyance’.
He also doesn’t appear to be carrying a cane.”
“Well, I suppose I’ll take your word for it, Master, that whoever offers to cure Emilia wouldn’t barge in, but… What would you have me do?”
Anthony cleared his throat at the woman’s answer.
Lately, the people who had come to him to heal his daughter had been quacks who didn’t even know what they were doing.
Some of them even tried to defraud him.
They wouldn’t tell him the name of the disease, they’d say they needed money to cure it, or they’d demand money outright, or they’d say some other nonsense.
But this new guest was blind.
“Is the guest…in the living room?”
“I’ll go greet him myself.”
It occurred to Anthony that perhaps the blind man had more special abilities than just his ‘sixth sense’.
The woman bowed in response, moving slightly away from the door.
Anthony left the room and made his way to the living room where his guest would be.
The house wasn’t as large as it had been back in the Holy Land, so it was only a few steps from his room to the living room.
As he entered the living room, he saw a blind man with dark hair and a bandage over his eyes sitting on the couch, waiting patiently.
True to the servant word, there was not a cane in sight.
The blind man, who wore only a small backpack, must have heard his footsteps and noticed him approaching, because he turned his head toward Anthony.
“You must have excellent hearing.”
“I suppose the Lord had pity on me for losing my sight, and spared me my other senses.”
The blind man spoke in a voice that could only be described as beautiful, but it was slightly husky, and he didn’t look his age.
He looked quite young, even with the bandages covering his face.
That’s good to know…My name is Anthony, if you don’t mind me asking.”
The blind man hesitated at Anthony’s question, then spoke up.
“I don’t have a proper name to give someone, so you can just call me ‘Acupuncturist’ if that’s more comfortable.”
“Acupuncturist…? Do you practice acupuncture?”
Anthony’s eyes widened at the mention of acupuncture.
It’s not that he hadn’t had anyone come to him before, but an advanced skill like acupuncture would give away a scam.
It was a poor excuse for a scammer.
I came to see if I could be of any use to you, even if it’s only in a minor way.”
The blind man scratched the back of his head and replied.
Nevertheless, Anthony had seen too many impostors so it was hard to trust him right away.
Acupuncture, as he knew it, is the art of treating patients by placing needles in the body.
In a nutshell, needles go through a person’s body.
If done incorrectly, it can hurt and cause pain.
So Anthony knew it was a rather rude thing to ask of someone who wanted to treat his daughter, but he couldn’t help but say.
“If you don’t mind my asking, could you show me your acupuncture first?”
Anthony wanted to test this blind man in front of him to see if he was a fraud or not.
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