After seeing to matters of a political nature, Annalise returned to the sickroom, heart thudding rapidly. The doctor was measuring out medicines again, but this time, there was a completely confused look on his face.

"I've examined the qualities of this medicine," the doctor began, before Annalise could even try to speak. "A different servant than usual brought me the elixir for Lord Adrian, but it looks different from the previous vial. Come here."

Annalise glanced wistfully at Adrian's form, his chest rising and falling as he slept deeply, then joined the doctor at the medicine cupboard.  "What is it?"

"This medicine. See how it sits stagnantly in the vial? As opposed to the medicine we've been giving him all this time, which seems to bubble slightly at the top. You can hardly notice  it, but when you look closely enough..." The doctor removed his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "This medicine is rarely even used; I didn't notice anything different about it. But it all makes sense now."

When the doctor did not speak further, Annalise leaned toward him, eyebrows raised. "Excuse me? What makes sense?"

Adrian murmured something in his sleep, and panic struck Annalise's soul. "You suspect poisoning."

"I'm afraid so, my lady. It explains why the medicine hasn't been working for Adrian. As I've mentioned before, this medicine is rarely used, but the few times I've used it, it's worked within a day or two! At first, I attributed the knight's lack of healing to the fact that his fever and infection are worse than most cases, but for him to be worsening, in spite of the elixir..."

Annalise grasped the doctor's arm. "You don't think he'll die, do you?" she demanded.

"I can't be sure. The only thing we can do now is give the knight a proper dosage of the real medicine, as well as find an antidote to counteract the poison." The doctor handed Annalise the vial of true medicine, and she hurried to Adrian's side to administer it. "The only problem is, in order to create an antidote, we must know what kind of poison we're dealing with."

"And we do that how, exactly?"

The doctor's lips pressed into a grim line. "We find the child, Ivan. I'm afraid it's him who's been delivering the poison."

The End

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