|Author: TypeAxiom||Original Source: ScribbleHub|
Worry plagued Carmen’s mind as she rushed toward where she had planned the attack to be. Although she was angry, the fault lies with her for not being there. As a superior, she had to take responsibility for Kagriss’s actions.
The reason she was still calm though was that she was still relatively confident that Kagriss wouldn’t go too far. However, now Anne must never know that the attack was a setup. Hopefully that was one secret that could be kept.
It didn’t need to be forever—just long enough so that Anne would be able to look back and laugh about it instead of seeking Carmen out over it.
Since Carmen and Kagriss were flying, it took much less time going back than it did heading out ahead on a horse. Soon, she sensed a number of large lifeforms—the horses—gathered around two smaller ones in the nearby forest. One of the small ones was leaning against a tree while the other tended to her. Carmen crashed through the forest canopy and landed, scaring the two unsuspecting girls out of their wits.
After hiding her wings, Carmen quickly surveyed the situation, releasing the breath she had been holding out of worry as she found both Anne and Fleur staring at her out of shock, neither of them dying.
“Fleur, are you okay?”
“C—camilla?” Fleur sputtered, choking on the water that Anne had been helping her drink. Her face flushed red as if Carmen had caught them in the middle of something bad, but as far as Carmen could tell, she didn’t.
“I’m sorry, I ran into some problems ahead,” Carmen said, rushing over to Fleur’s side. “I heard you were attacked by undead chimeras?”
Carmen had never been so glad that she was an undead right now. She was a terrible liar, and the only reason she could keep calm and pretend that she had no idea what was happening was by partially disabling the muscles on her face and suppressing her expressions. That and keeping her voice steady…and desperately hope that Anne didn’t find out.
That girl had just warmed up to her and gotten together with Fleur, so imagine the fury that she’ll fly into if she found out that the whole thing that hurt Fleur was a plot.
As the girls were about to answer, the canopy rustled again and Kagriss landed behind her. Whatever words that Anne had been about to speak frozen at the tip of her tongues and she pointed at Kagriss. “It’s you!”
“You know her?” Carmen asked, still pretending she had no idea what was going on.
As if suddenly realizing that her pointing was rude, Anne dropped her hand, awkwardly holding it to herself. “Ah, yes…she was the one who saved us from the undead in the end. So she was with you, Lady Camilla?”
Anne looked like she had an epiphany as Carmen nodded. “Originally, her job was to keep you safe from the shadows since I suspected that the fortress might send pursuers after us, but we ran into some problems ahead and she had to help me. By the time she got back…”
Amaranthine Point was a good scapegoat and she casually pushed the blame onto them. Fortunately, Anne didn’t seem to suspect anything or find anything wrong with that excuse, although Fleur was giving Carmen an incredulous look.
Carmen nudged Kagriss standing behind her to the side. After a moment, Kagriss bowed. “I’m sorry…for not being here on time.”
“No, that’s okay,” Anne said. Evidently, she hadn’t expected Kagriss to apologize. If she knew what Carmen and Fleur both knew though, she wouldn’t be thinking that.
Carmen took another peek at Fleur who had been silent all this time. Aside from the winces of pain on her face every time she breathed, she only had a few half healed scratches on her, probably taken care of by Anne. For some reason, she seemed to be looking anywhere except at Carmen, eventually settling on Anne’s face.
It seems that even after being reduced to this state, Fleur didn’t seem to hold anything against Kagriss.
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Was Fleur magnanimous or was she too forgiving?
Carmen knelt down next to Fleur on the other side of Anne, taking her hand. “Fleur, how does your chest feel? Can you tell me what exactly happened?”
As Carmen lowered her head onto her chest to listen to her breathing, she caught Fleur’s face turning red. Her mouth opened and closed soundlessly like a fish’s before Anne nudged her a bit harder than Carmen would have expected.
“Um…I got rammed by an undead that looked like a boar with a deer’s head. I blocked it with my buckler but the buckler slammed into my ribs, and after that I fell on my chest…”
As she spoke, Carmen could hear the rasping of Fleur’s breathing with the mucus in her lungs. It seemed to be simple blunt trauma, but nothing was completely broken. Kagriss had been right about Fleur not being wounded too badly.
At most, some of her ribs were fractured, but even fractured ribs were painful. “Did you cry?” she asked. When she checked again, Fleur’s eyes seemed a bit puffy. Crying with such an injury must have been painful with all that sobbing…
“She did!” Anne interrupted. “After I woke her up, she winced and began to cry. Can’t you do anything for her, Lady Camilla?”
Fleur’s face turned red again, but Anne ignored her as she looked pleadingly at Carmen.
Unfortunately, Kagriss was wrong about her being able to heal Fleur. She’ll have to do a bit more poking around to be sure if fractures were the extent of Fleur’s injuries, but even fractures were beyond her ability to heal directly. As a battle oriented templar, healing really wasn’t her strong point. Arvel was much better in that respect.
The most she could do was heal cuts and bruises, but bones were on another level of difficulty. However, what she could do was heal the flesh around the bone while reinforcing them with magic so that the fractures will heal well. That will help with Fleur’s pain as well and let her naturally recover until they met up with Arvel.
Of course, other than the limited healing magic she had from her holy mana, she also had her affinity for blood magic which was good for healing as well. Possibly even better. However, she still lacked the experience to properly use it on something as complex as healing, and she definitely wasn’t going to experiment on Fleur.
Constructing a spell that will allow her to take a better look at Fleur’s wounds while everyone gathered around to watch—Anne out of worry and Kagriss out of curiosity—she began to investigate Fleur’s injuries.
“Don’t fight my mana.”
Fleur nodded, and Carmen sent the effects of a probing spell into Fleur’s body, feeling around inside of her chest.
As she thought, there was some mild bleeding in the lower area of her chest where there was visible bruising from the impact with the rim of her buckler. Luckily, Fleur’s lungs seemed to be unharmed. Carmen was confident that she could heal those problems directly on the spot once she began.
However, while not too bad, Fleur’s bones were in worse shape.
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There were three fractures on her lower four rib bones and her sternum was cracked as well. And although she didn’t say it, Fleur’s arm was fractured as well. Did Fleur think that she wouldn’t notice? What was her goal here?
Silly girl, hiding her injuries like that. How foolish was it to not immediately speak up about injuries on her only remaining arm? Carmen knocked Fleur on her head, surprising the girl.
After checking one more time to make sure she didn’t miss anything, Carmen began healing, casting spell after spell. She even used some of the blood magic spells she did know to extract the blood from internal bleeding before healing the wounds themselves.
Surprisingly, Fleur didn’t question her when the blood came out. Since she disguised it as holy magic, no one but Kagriss suspected anything.
Unlike Arvel, she didn’t know enough magic and lacked the talents to just heal everything in one big spell, so she sure had to do everything by herself. Carefully, she repaired Fleur’s body bit by bit, until Fleur’s body was as good as new except for her bones. With Fleur’s permission, she even wove some of Fleur’s mana into a few weaker body reinforcement spells that even Fleur could sustain, though at the cost of being unable to cast any other magic. Luckily, Carmen didn’t foresee Fleur joining any fighting in the near future, so it was okay.
After splinting Fleur’s arm while Anne stared at Fleur furiously—with Fleur sweating and refusing to look at Anne, Carmen patted Fleur’s head. “All done. How do you feel?”
As if she had found an avenue of escape in her question, Fleur answered immediately. “Almost all the pain is gone!”
“Good. Now take a deep breath.”
Following Carmen’s instructions, Fleur breathed in deeply, once for the breath to escape when she gasped out of pain. But then she just looked confused. “It hurts when I breathe, but it is not that bad…”
Carmen put her hands together. “Then I guess we’re done! Good work, Fleur, Anne. Especially you, Anne. Kagriss said you were brave.”
“N—no, it’s nothing. I’d be willing to do anything for Fleur!” Anne said, blushing—whether it was at the compliment or at the thought of Fleur, Carmen didn’t know, but she felt that Fleur would definitely be safe with Anne.
Fleur wasn’t the only one hurt. After Carmen extracted the residual undead mana lingering in Anne’s scratch wounds, she healed her as best as she could.
“Whew…healing is hard…” she said, sitting back and observing her handiwork. If it wasn’t for the tears and dirt on Anne, she wouldn’t even be able to tell that Anne had just fought in a battle.
Anne bowed to her. “Thank you, Lady Camilla.”
“No need to thank me,” Carmen replied. As she stretched, Kagriss came up behind her.
“Good work, Mistress,” Kagriss said. “Shall we go back now?”
“Go back?” Oh, to the undead outpost. Carmen had no idea why Kagriss was so eager to fight. Still, she couldn’t deny the attraction of being able to find out something related to Father Arvel’s mission. She could then surprise him with something when they meet as a reunion gift. “Okay, let’s go.”
“Go where?” Anne asked, standing up. “Fleur still needs rest…”
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Fleur waved her hands in protest. “No, Anne, I’m okay.”
“But you just recovered!”
Carmen smiled as she watched the two girls bicker before she stopped them. It was good that Anne cared, even if she could be overbearing in her concern, although Fleur had always been headstrong too. Those personalities were going to clash sooner or later, but to think it was happening now already…
“Okay, calm down. Only Kagriss and I are going, so both of you should rest since it’s been a long morning. You might as well take your break here and eat something.”
Anne and Fleur stopped fighting as they looked at her in surprise.
This time, even Anne looked confused. Did Anne think that she had been lying when she said she had something to do? Carmen shook her head. “It’s going to be dangerous and will probably take us a while, so sit tight okay?”
“Where are you going?” Fleur asked. She hid a look of relief that she had put on when she heard that she wasn’t going. Carmen caught it though and had to hide her smile again.
After exchanging glances with Kagriss, Carmen decided to tell them the truth. “I have information that there’s an undead camp or outpost up ahead, and we’re going to raid it, just me and Kagriss. I’m sorry to say this, but you two will be more of a liability than help.”
Anne hung her head, but Carmen didn’t think she said anything wrong. If those two could be helpful, she’d consider taking them along, but when heading into uncertain territories, it was best to be cautious.
“…stay safe,” Fleur said, accepting reality. After a moment, Anne echoed her.
With her mood much better now that her worry over Fleur proved insubstantial, Carmen waved toward the two girls and beckoned toward Kagriss. After entering the trees, out of sight of the girls, Carmen undid the illusion that hid her wings and poured blood mana in the spell structure within.
With lightness that rivaled the wind, she lifted up into the sky, with Kagriss trailing close behind her, and flew down the path toward where she had left the beacons.
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