The Mysterious Cure

“Don’t worry Cal, we will definitely find a cure for Cate’s illness. She’ll be alright.”
“Yes, we have to keep believing that, I promised mother that I’ll never let anything happen to Cate. I can’t lose her too, Lux! I just can’t!”

Caligo & Lux had embarked on a precarious journey, in search of a cure for a mysterious illness that Caligo’s sister, Cate, had been suffering from. With her worsening conditions, Cal couldn’t stand watching her dear sister suffer the same fate as their late mother. He wanted to heal Cate by any means possible and decided to leave the village with his best friend Lux, to find a cure. They assumed, with modern medicinal developments, they would have the best chances of finding a cure at the Central Capital.

Being on the verge of finishing their three days journey, they were just as optimistic when they left. On a crossroads, they spotted a sick old man lying on the ground, suffocating. They quickly rushed to help him.
“Don’t you die on us Oldie, don’t lose consciousness!” uttered Caligo.
“Cal, we need to take him to the infirmary right away!” claimed Lux.
“No, not an infirmary. Please take me to my house. I insist, young men!” appealed the old man.
“But ..”
“Let’s do as he says, Lux. Guide us to your home Oldie.”
Upon reaching his house, they lay him on his bed. The old man took off a key worn as a pendant and handed it over to Lux pointing towards a chest.
Unlocking the chest with the given key, Lux opened it to find a vial filled with a crimson liquid. He handed it over to the old man, who drank the liquid in it with Cal’s help. The old man lay there for a few minutes leaving the two boys to wonder what exactly the crimson liquid was.

Suddenly waking up in a frenzy, the old man screamed, “What happened? Who are you?”.
“Hey Oldie, calm down, man. Don’t you remember suffocating on the street and us bringing you to your home after you insisted? Later you drank some weird crimson liquid out of that vial there.”
“Ohh, I see. I remember now. Thank you, young men, for all your help. Is there something you wish to have as a reward in exchange?”
“What could someone as poor as you possibly have to offer us, Oldie. Let’s leave Lux, we are already running out of time!”
“Don’t be rude, Cal. Sir, my name is Lux and he is Caligo, for whose words I apologize for. He has been very stressed.”
“Ahh, Lux and Caligo, your personalities verily complement your names, transliterating as Light and Darkness in Latin, but before you leave, can I know what is it that you’re in such a hurry for?” the old man asked curiously.
“Cal’s sister, Cate is suffering from a strange illness which has made her very sick lately. Despite trying a lot we couldn’t find a remedy, so we set out to look for a cure out here in the capital.”
“Can you describe to me this illness she suffers from, I may have some help” claimed the old man.
Hearing this, both were taken aback for a moment, Cal immediately blurted out the noticeable symptoms, all the herbs and treatments they had tried so far.
Having heard all this, the old man pondered for a while and finally responded, “I might have a cure for your sister’s unusual illness”.
“Are you serious, oldie? You heard that Lux, he can cure Cate!”
“Yes, that crimson liquid right there can cure your sister. But let me warn you boys, this is a very unconventional cure derived from forbidden alchemy.”
“What do you mean by unconventional and forbidden alchemy?” asked a suspicious Lux.
“I don’t care if it’s forbidden or not Lux, I just want to cure Cate, make her happy again. Oldie, can you please give us some of this weird liquid? I beg you!”
“There’s no need to beg young man, I’ll provide you with this cure but only on one condition. I’ll be accompanying you to your village and cater this cure to your sister myself!”
“We agree to all your conditions Sir, we just want to cure our baby Cate” plead Lux.
Accompanying them both, the old man left for their village with his arcane cure.

After reaching the village, the trio promptly rushed to Cal’s home. The village elder was happy to see Cal & Lux return back so soon, which seemed like a good sign.
Watching her brothers return, a teardrop rolled down her cheeks, “I missed you guys”.
“We missed you too, my baby girl” responded a teary-eyed Cal. “We brought you a cure Cate, you’ll get all better now, there’s no need to worry anymore. Quick Oldie, cater her the medicine.”
“Before I proceed with that, I’d like to mention the details concerning the forbidden nature of this Elixir.”
“Yes, young Lux, Elixir. This liquid is known as the Eternal Elixir. It has magical regenerative capabilities which can cure any known/unknown illness and revive a dying person.”
Caligo & Cate were astonished to hear this, whereas Lux was stunned, for he realized what this truly meant.

The old man continued, “So obviously, to obtain an Elixir with such incredible prowess, the process would be extraordinary too. It involves the most forbidden ritual of sorcery: Human Sacrifice”.

“What the hell are you talking about, Oldie!?”
“Let’s hear him out, Cal.”
“For the process of creating this Eternal Elixir, the forbidden ritual requires a sacrifice of 13 alive human babies. As a sorcerer, I can’t divulge the specifics but it is my duty to clarify the cold facts before I administer this Elixir to your sister.”
As the truth dawned upon Lux, his suspicions came true. He had heard about the existence of such magical elixirs in fairytales, from his grandma. Little did he know, he would witness one in reality.
The siblings were in a state of shock. It’s almost as if they were paralysed with fear, but Cal soon cognized, contemplated for a while and looking at the old man, said “I mourn for those 13 babies and sympathise for their families, but the harsh truth is that they are already dead. I’d rather see my baby sister recover than claim to be a moral hypocrite and let my sister die. I told you this before and I’ll repeat again, I don’t care what it takes, just cure Cate, just make her better, I beg you, Oldie, please…”
“I’m afraid young Caligo, the choice is not yours to make. Since your sister is well within her senses, she’ll have to make this decision for herself. Anyone else’s opinions would be unacceptable for me.”
“Well, in that case, Sir…” Cate paused for a long bloody cough and continued “I appreciate your help and thank you for your generosity and honesty, but I don’t want a cure that comes at such a heavy cost. I couldn’t possibly imagine the pain and suffering those innocent babies and their parents must have gone through. Babies are the living embodiment of God’s blessing and to sacrifice their souls for one’s selfish desires is a defiance of the very emotion of Love.”
“But Cate…”
“Brother, if you are so heartbroken about my condition, you must empathise for those innocent souls as well, I know you love me and want to heal me but I’d preferably die than be alive at the expense of murdering babies. That is not how mother raised us, and I know, deep down you discern this too.”
“She’s right Cal, as much as we love her, we can’t go ahead with this.”
“I know, I know… But why her Lux, she doesn’t deserve any of this, why her God? Why?” Cal started sobbing while Lux couldn’t hold back his tears either.

“Lux, you better take care of my brother or else I’ll come back from the grave to kill you. You have to be the Light that guides my brother in the Darkness. I love you guys so much. I’ll always be watching over you.” She hugged both her brothers while all three wept in each other’s arms.

Turning towards the sorcerer, the village elder mumbled, “It’s always the Pure souls that are called back to heaven while rotten demons like us get to live on for ages!”.
“Indeed”, sighed the sorcerer.

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