Priestess and Medic
“Whoa!” Everyone turned their heads back only to be frightened by Eirinn’s face.
They couldn’t really be blamed though. Magic wasn’t commonplace, so most of the illumination at night relied on candles. The room appeared dark even though every candle was lit. Eirinn’s nightmarish face and the dark room was a frightening combination.
“Who are you?” Nancy was much calmer than the rest.
“I’m... I... Umm...”
Eirinn got nervous the moment she was the center of attention.
“She’s a mid-order priestess. We’re one of the harvester squads,” Leguna answered, showing the small metal pin on his chest.
The empire was calling the teams of contestants they sent to the front lines harvester squads. Every contestant was very powerful, so, while they couldn’t rival armies, they were not so different from reapers, hence their name.
Nancy stared at Eirinn quietly. She didn’t care that she was no longer the center of attention. She only cared about saving lives, that said, she doubted the little monstrous girl.
Her gaze turned to the three others. The big man must have been in his forties and the woman in her twenties. The boy was definitely in his teens, early late teens at best. As for the girl… her face couldn’t tell one anything, but her figure suggested she, too, was in her mid-to-late teens. Were they really mid-order? They looked so young. Nancy couldn’t bring herself to hand the man to such untrustworthy people.
“Are you really a harvester squad?” she asked, “Aren’t you a little young?”
“Hey, Madam Medic, being young doesn’t mean we can’t be strong. The emperor has personally recognized our strength,” Kurdak rebutted.
Kurdak was in a stellar mood, this was one of those rare occasions people actually called him young. He pointed to Leguna as he continued.
“This guys made it into the top four. You’ve heard of Ley, right? We also have our badges. These can’t be faked.”
The whole canteen erupted into a commotion. Quite a few soldiers came over and surrounded Leguna.
“Are you really Ley? The one who made it into the top four?”
“I heard you faced the champion, Miss Annelotte, directly! How was it? Was she really strong? Is she really a beauty? Is she tall?”
“Some say you acted oddly during your fight. Do you guys know each other?”
“Tch! I didn’t think you’d be so popular,” Kurdak complained, though he noticed most of the guards asked about Annelotte instead of Leguna.
“Hey, now’s not the time for a fan meeting!” Nancy raged, “We have an injured man over here!”
“Then let her heal him quickly,” Leguna pressed, “He’s gonna die if we leave him like this, anyway. Just let Eirinn help.”
Nancy stared at Leguna.
“This is an imperial fortress. Don’t come here to show off!”
“I know. Sheesh, we’re suspected even though we’re trying to help. What’s the world come to?” Leguna muttered before he pulled Eirinn to the soldier. “Go ahead! Trust yourself!”
The girl blushed. She was so nervous she started to shiver. Now, a soldier’s life was in her hands. It was a kind of pressure the timid half-elf had never born before.
“Just heal him. I’m right here. Trust me,” Leguna whispered.
Eirinn glanced at him and nodded resolutely. She took a deep breath and began Breathing.
“Gentle and benevolent god of light, please grant me the power to rid the world of sickness and suffering. Bless me with the strength to save this pitiful life. Your light illuminates all darkness and brings us eternal hope,” Eirinn recited with closed eyes.
A golden light hovered over her hands. She rested it in her palm before sending it into the man’s body.
“This is the wrong one...” Nancy sighed the moment Eirinn finished without even bothering to look at the effects.
“What is?” Leguna asked.
“She just used Recovery,” Nancy said helplessly, “Child, you should’ve used Detoxify instead. Do you know that divine miracle?”
Eirinn’s ears flushed red when she heard that she used the wrong one. She muttered, “I... I think I know that too...”
“Alright, give it one more try. Do your best. We’re counting on you,” Nancy encouraged, gently this time.
A few moments later, Eirinn finally used Detoxify to relieve the symptoms of the poisoned soldier. The soldier was finally out of danger after another round of Nancy treatment.
“I apologize for doubting you.”
It was already winter, but Nancy was sweating quite profusely. She wiped it off her forehead with a handkerchief as she spoke.
“It’s fine. Saving him was more important,” Leguna smiled casually, “Forgive me if I’m too direct, but how did you know Eirinn used the wrong miracle?”
“I used to be a priestess too,” Nancy smiled slightly before she recounted her story.
Saving people was the same regardless of how one did it? This woman sure was stubborn.
Leguna smiled nonetheless.
“Your road must be much harder, your determination deserves respected.”
“Thank you,” Nancy replied politely. She turned her gaze to Eiriinn, who stood behind Leguna, with a hint of admiration, “This girl is talented.”
“Well, other things aside, Eirinn’s absolutely great at taking care of others,” Kurdak was quick to praise. If not for her care, he wouldn’t have recovered from his match with Legg.
“You might not believe it, but she’s only been a priestess for a few months,” Leguna said.
“A mid-order priestess in such a short time? Is she divinely favored?” Nancy asked.
“Umm... Madam Nancy, I have a question...” Eirinn muttered shyly.
“What is it, dear?” Nancy couldn’t help but like the girl.
She was ugly beyond belief, but she was kind and gentle, not unlike herself during her youth. She felt like she was looking at herself from an age long forgotten.
“You didn’t use a divine miracle when you saved that man, right?”
“No. I used medicine. I’m a medic.”
Eirinn knew of the word. Her town had had a medic once, but he could only treat common ailments like headaches and fevers. Serious things like poison was beyond him. Nancy, however, was obviously far greater. She had needed Eirinn’s help, but Eirinn felt the woman would have been able to save him without her if she had the right supplies.
“Yes,” Nancy answered, “Medics don’t need the god’s Breath. We use what nature gives and various tools to heal.”
“Can... can you teach me?” Eirinn asked with mustered courage.
She was surprised when she saw Nancy work. The woman didn’t need prayer, she didn’t plead the gods for mercy. She used her owns strength, her own knowledge and skills to save others. Eirinn, as much of a believer as she was, wanted to be like that more. She didn’t want to have to beg others for a bit of mercy, she didn’t want to rely on other people, Leguna aside, obviously. She wanted to be useful because of her own strength.
“You can’t learn this overnight.”
“I know. I can read and I’m patient and determined,” Eirinn pressed unrelentingly.
“Do you really want this?”
Leguna decided leaving the girl here was a good choice. It was safe, certainly far better than putting her on the battlefield, and better than sending her all the way back to Melindor.
They wouldn’t suffer much from her absence either, in fact, they would probably be better off. If he were honest, she was being a burden. She could not fight, so she needed to be protected in fights, her only role was healing, but if the sight of blood incapacitated her then she could not even do that. And it wasn’t like they would get wounded often without Eirinn there. They were much stronger than any opponent they’d face here.
“Yes. I’ve thought about it for a while,” she answered.
No one had said as much to her, but Eirinn knew their thoughts. She was not suited for the battlefield. She’d been looking for an excuse to stay behind next time they went out, but now she could both stay out of fighting and learn something useful.
“Don’t forget Nancy used to be a mid-order priestess. Then she started studying medicine and now she doesn’t have any Breath left...” Vera began.
Even though medicinal techniques were attractive to the girl, she didn’t want to lose her Breath. Her personal beliefs aside, she was far more useful as a priestess than a rookie medic.
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