Lawgiver’s Blade: Chapter Two Part Two

April 17th, 2019  |  Published in Lawgiver's Blade

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The healer who came to Shael a couple of days later was a pretty woman, petite, dark haired, and around the same age as Alidra’s mother. She rode into the village while the children were sparring on the green as part of their lessons. As she dismounted near where Lilat was overseeing the children one of the villagers ran up to hold her horse. The mage in the meantime walked slowly over to Lilat. She had dark circles under her eyes as if she hadn’t slept for days.

“Lilat!” A smile lit up her face, making her look less tired, and she held out her hands. “So this is where you’ve been hiding!”

“Imalia!” Lilat took her hands in her own. “It’s good to see you again. I wish it was under better circumstances.”

“Indeed.” Imalia became all business again. “I believe you have a patient for me?”

“Two unfortunately. The girl needs immediate treatment but her father started showing symptoms this morning. They’re staying with Tamasa and Denri.”

For some reason Imalia froze for a moment at that before nodding. “Right you had best take me to them then.”

“Of course,” Lilat said. “Just let me get someone to watch the children. They tend to get a bit too into their practice if no one is watching them.”

Imalia chuckled softly. “I’d imagine.”

“Shall I go and tell mummy you are coming?” Alidra broke away from her own fight.

“Yes, please,” Lilat said.

Alidra nodded and ran off down the road towards home. Her mother was kneeling by Rinia, wiping her forehead with a damp cloth. The girl had slipped into full unconsciousness the night before, was still running a raging fever and her skin was covered in a horrible green rash which was spreading slowly.

“Mummy! The healer mage is here.”

“Ah! Good!” Tamasa rose to her feet and fetched a cup of her best ale. “I think she’s in time.”

Alidra was looking directly at her mother when Imalia entered the house with Lilat and so saw the wave of anxious surprise that swept her face momentarily, too quickly for anyone who wasn’t looking at her to notice. It was replaced by a welcoming smile as she offered the cup to Imalia.

“Welcome to our house, honoured mage. Please feel free to avail yourself of our hospitality while you are here.”

“I’m sorry I took so long to get here.” Imalia accepted the cup and took a long drink. “I came as fast as I could without magical transport. I thank you for your offer of hospitality but time is of the essence. I take it that this young lady is one of my patients?”

She returned the cup to Tamasa’s hands and hurried to Rinia’s side, pulling back the blankets so she could examine the rash. She hissed sharply when she saw the extent of it.

“Did you get here in time?” Tamasa asked.

“I think so,” Imalia said. “It’s close though, I’ll need to check.” She took one of Rinia’s hands in her right hand, laid her left hand on Rinia’s forehead, closed her eyes and whispered a spell. A breeze seemed to sweep around the room and then Imalia opened her eyes and nodded. “Yes, I did, but it’s going to be hard.” She shifted slightly and began chanting in the divine tongue. Light spread out across Rinia’s skin from where she was touching.

“I’ve never seen a healing spell do that before.” Tamasa was frowning at the glow. “Is it supposed to?”

“The mysteries of magic are not a commoner’s to question.” Mayin had paused in her spinning and was scowling at Tamasa. “We should not question such things.”

Tamasa’s eyes flicked to Mayin and her lip curled for a moment but she held her tongue.

“No, Tamasa’s right. Something is wrong here,” Lilat said. “This is one of the stronger anti-pestilence spells, but I’ve seen it used many times and I’ve never seen it do that.”

Mayin’s spindle clattered to the floor as she leapt to her feet.

“You can commit what crimes you want, leave me out of it!” She fled the house, pushing past Denri who was just returning with fresh fish from the lake.

He watched her go with a half smile and a raised eyebrow before looking over at Imalia and Rinia. He took in the glow and his other eyebrow joined the first.

“That’s not normal. Which means it’s the disease causing the effect. I think we’ll want to ask Imalia about it once she comes out of her healing trance.

“Denri,” Tamasa said in the same warning tone she’d used when he was talking to Inarin.

“It’s fine, Tam,” he said. “Mayin just stomped out of here so there’s no one to worry about.”

“You’re careless, Den.” Tamasa tutted at him but she was smiling. She grabbed the pail of fish from her husband’s hands. “We’ll talk about this later. For now I’ll use your fine catch to improve our evening meal. I feared we would only have pottage to offer our guests tonight.” She turned to Lilat. “And you should join us too.”

Lilat hesitated. “It does get lonely up in my cottage sometimes. Thank you. But for now I should get back to my class.”

“You’re welcome.” Tamasa smiled warmly. “Now who wants to help me clean these fish.”

Alidra swallowed back nausea. She liked fish but hated cleaning them. “Me, mummy!” she said.

“You worked hard in the fields this morning, butterfly,” Denri said. “I’ll help your mother. You can go back to your lesson too.”

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