3 years later
“Apprentice Ronan, What should I do about these herbs?” an auburn-haired girl asked.
Ronan glanced at them in a hurry and said, “They will be processed later. Store them in section three for now.”
Ronan hurried along the way as he answered the doubts of the various aides. Reaching the end of the hall, he slightly knocked on a door and said, “Master, I have brought your letters.”
"Çome in,” answered a voice.
Ronan adjusted his clothes a little as he went in and greeted. “Good morning, master.”
“Ronan, how is the progress concerning the orders?” Dr.Virat questioned.
Ronan took out a stack of papers and said, “Sir, we have completed eighty percent of drug orders. A little more is left to be done regarding the other medical supplies. The aides are currently training their basic skills in the wards.
A total of fifty aides and nine apprentices will participate in this expedition. We are mostly done with everything else. I estimate that we will finish all preparations needed for departure in three days.”
Dr.Virat listened carefully and nodded, satisfied with the progress of the work. He was happier than ever for making the decision that day three years ago to give Ronan a chance as an aide.
In the following year, Ronan was promoted to an apprentice.
Only apprentices were allowed to help in the actual treatment of the patients. It was only then that Dr.Virat discovered Ronan’s true talents. Ronan had an extraordinary grasp of the various medical theories, and his practical skills vastly surpassed his peers.
Hence, Dr.Virat made a controversial decision to promote Ronan again to a senior apprentice in less than a year, which is practically unheard of.
Usually, kids work as aides to get a basic understanding of how the medical camp worked. They also had to study a lot. It would take most kids three to five years to become an apprentice.
It would then take most apprentices five to seven years to be promoted to a senior apprentice.
However, Ronan was an exception. His superior knowledge and skills made it a waste to let him rot as an aide or an apprentice. Thus, Dr.Virat had no choice but to promote him twice in two years.
Ronan’s various skills, especially his surgical acumen, made Dr.Virat firmly believe that he would definitely surpass him in the future.
Coming back from his thoughts, Dr.Virat looked at Ronan and asked, “I know you want to participate in the expedition this time but are you sure?
War is a serious affair and, even though I would love to take you with me, it is also true that you are only thirteen. You can contribute in the future, so why not let your fellow apprentices volunteer in your stead?”
Ronan looked at Dr.Virat and said, “Sir, I believe that this will be a great opportunity to learn. I can experience new techniques and work under multiple doctors. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Dr.Virat thought about it and nodded. There is some danger, but he couldn't help but agree as he hoped that Ronan would finally have the opportunities he deserved.
"Alright,” Dr.Virat agreed and said, “Finish your work. We will depart in five days.”
“Understood, master.” Ronan agreed.
Ronan felt the morning sun as he walked out of the medical camp and walked towards the supply office. A lot had changed since the day he first came to this world. He was no longer the clueless guy that he was. In addition to studying this world’s medical knowledge, he spent a large portion of his free time trying to gather as much information as he could.
In this pursuit, Ronan finally found the missing link.
Magic existed in this world.
People who had immense magical prowess were called Wizards, and those who harnessed that power through their bodies were called Knights.
This completely overwhelmed his understanding of the world and changed his perception of reality. He was now in a fantasy world that would only exist inside books and movies back on earth.
Ronan's initial apprehension towards this knowledge was soon replaced by his curiosity and thirst for knowledge regarding the wonders of this world. It began to grow with time, and soon he was obsessed.
However, even if he knew that wizards existed, he had no chance to meet one as the mercenaries had no wizards.
The mercenaries were mostly made of mortal warriors, with a few knights among the leadership. The information related to knights was tightly controlled. This meant Ronan had no idea how to become a knight, much less a wizard.
From what Ronan had heard from Dr.Virat, wizards were a mysterious entity to the ordinary masses. Even though everyone knew about their existence, they were rarer and much stronger than knights in general.
Having read every bit of information that he could find about magic, Ronan was getting frustrated with the lack of transparency.
He knew that perhaps the knights might know more, but he had no right to ask any of them. He was just a thirteen-year-old boy who had no martial skills and was not a part of the training camp. This meant he had no direct connections with any leaders.
One day, the news came that the mercenary leader accepted a task from Duke Wellington. The camp would send two thousand mercenaries to participate in the war against the Farmuth Dukedom.
This was a big expedition as the Albus mercenaries had only three thousand total warriors.
Ronan instinctively wanted to stay away from the war until he heard that wizards would appear in the war.
A Dukedom was no smaller than a medium-size country back on earth. Each had a massive population and wealth which could support a large army.
Ronan knew that although the war was dangerous, this was his chance to make a fortune. He had advanced medical skills that he had not revealed to avoid unnecessary attention and jealousy towards himself. But, in a war between nobles, life is cheap, and doctors would be valued regardless of their status as long as they were skilled.
It was an opportunity to meet the real owners of this world, the nobles, and maybe gain the knowledge that he so desperately desired.
Either way, he will be in the rear end of the army, in a hospital that is a lot safer than front lines.
So Ronan decided to volunteer his services. Since he was only thirteen, his decision came as a surprise to many, including his master. Some praised him, some tried to discourage him, but his mind was set.
Ronan cleared his mind of all thoughts as he approached the same office he first visited three years ago. Then he was just a naïve kid, but now he was wearing a uniform and a badge signifying his status as a senior apprentice of the medical camp.
The guards no longer dared to slight him as they knew that one of them might end up under his care in the future. They greeted him politely and showed him in.
Matleb was still sitting at his desk, but instead of a few papers, he had a mountain of files on his desk. He looked like he hadn’t slept in three days and irritation was visible in his eyes as he glanced at the new visitor.
Seeing his badge, he snorted and went back to the papers. However, his attention was on Ronan as he asked without lifting his head, “The medical camp is still behind on the deliveries. Are you sure you are doing your job properly? Why don’t you send one of your seniors instead?” He asked coldly
Ronan could hear the displeasure in his voice. Many felt that Dr.Virat was out of his mind for trusting the war mobilization process of the medical camp to a thirteen-year-old kid. Matleb was no exception. However, he was actually satisfied with Ronan’s progress. Otherwise, it might not end with just a comment.
Ronan ignored Matleb’s comments. He played dumb and answered, “Sir, the medical camp has finished eighty percent of drug orders, and the medical supplies will be done in two days.
You can expect the medical camp to complete all of its orders within three days. My master was informed about the same, and he has said that the camp will be ready to join the expedition in five days.”
Matleb glanced at Ronan and felt weird. He couldn’t remember anything remarkable about Ronan when he first saw him three years ago. He looked a bit smaller compared to other boys and appeared reserved. Nothing peculiar caught his eye.
Matleb didn’t know what happened to Ronan in the last three years, but, he became a senior apprentice at thirteen and had a disposition of calmness rarely even among adults.
Matleb didn’t like that Ronan simply ignored his comments, but there was nothing much he could do about it. He first thought the medical camp would be in a mess within a couple of days, and Dr.Virat will come to his senses and appoint someone else to do Ronan’s job.
But unexpectedly, the kid managed to complete all the orders of the supply office by perfectly managing the workforce in the medical camp, and without crossing any lines.
His fellow senior apprentices would be the ones most dissatisfied about his posting, but, they were also cooperating due to his responsible and humble nature.
This was not something any thirteen-year-old can manage to do, so Matleb was thoroughly impressed by Ronan.
"Alright,” Matleb said.
There was nothing much to say, and he wouldn't want to bully a kid simply to mess with him. As long as the job was done, he was happy and would give Ronan some benefits in the future. Anyway, both of them were in the army expedition this time around, so there was plenty of time to judge Ronan.
Ronan bowed slightly and left the tent. He was still young and powerless. So he had to steadily build his image as a hardworking guy to prevent any unnecessary accidents. It was nothing new to him. He had plenty of experience back in his resident days on how to please his superiors without coming off as arrogant.
Just as Ronan was about to head back, he saw Kaleb walking along with Derek. Three years passed, and the boys became a bit more mature.
Derek, who had a proud expression on his face three years ago, appeared kind and humble. Three years in the training camp must have been tough on him. Kaleb, however, looked the same.
“Dr.Ronan, fancy seeing you here.” Kaleb teased.
Ronan rolled his eyes and went forward to greet them. All the orphans were envious of Ronan because he had a mentor and had achieved a lot despite having no background. His career was also set, and everyone praised that Ronan would be a great doctor in the future.
But, they were also glad that one of them made it. This gave others hope that they too can achieve great things if they worked hard.
“Shut up,” Ronan said as he shook hands with the boys.
Each of them was in different departments. Ronan in medical camp, Kaleb in the supply unit, and Derek in the training camp.
This meant that they didn’t meet too often. But over the years, they had grown close and, Ronan considered the boys his closest friends.
“Are you coming?” Derek asked.
He looked worried. Kaleb also looked at Ronan for confirmation. They both knew that Ronan was not a warrior and had no training other than the physical exercise mandated to all the kids. Knowing his potential, they felt that Ronan had no need to volunteer like them.
Derek wanted to gain experience and soon become an official warrior of the mercenaries. His dream was to contribute enough to become a knight apprentice.
Kaleb, however, wanted to earn money. Kaleb and his buddies in the supply unit wanted to be couriers between the various stations in the rear so that they can make some good money in relative safety.
“Don’t worry, guys. I will be in the rear end of the army, in the medical camp. The risk is limited, and I also wanted to experience war and learn from other doctors. You know, at the rate I'm going, it is going to take me a decade before I become an official doctor.” Ronan assured them.
“Asshole. Stop showing off. Most people would give up an arm to be a doctor in their twenties, and you are now plainly boasting about your prospects. You need to learn about greed and how it can destroy you.” Kaleb snorted.
Ronan grinned and said, “I guess I will find out about it soon.”
Even though the boys were his friends, they had no idea about Ronan’s plans. He wanted more, much more than they imagined. The war is his chance to change his life.