“You should have fainted from the pain long ago!”
…is not something you want to hear from the guy who’s supposed to fix you up. I scowled at the healer, who Kapren had introduced to me as Ranae.
“Yeah, well, I didn’t, so hurry up and fix it. I don’t like leaving my brother alone with a stranger.”
Ranae frowned at me, dark blue eyebrows drawing close together over eyes almost the same shade.
“Despite how he looks, Kapren’s a pretty reliable guy, you know?”
“Don’t care. Hurry up.”
He huffed and focused on my arm, carefully peeling the rest of the makeshift bandage off. I briefly mourned for my shirt. It had served me well. “So unfriendly. You should smile more.”
Smile? Ha, I’ll show you a smile.
I bared my teeth in a grin, just for him. He visibly shuddered.
“A-alright, alright, I’m sorry I said anything, please stop that.”
I let my face fall back into its usual cold expression.
“How much does it hurt?”
“It hurt like a motherfucker before, but now it’s just kinda aching and stings a bit.”
Ranae frowned at the bloody mess that was my arm. Or maybe he was just frowning at my word choice.
Now that I took a proper look at it, it really was nasty. It would have looked bad enough had it been a normal wolf, but with the acidic saliva, what would have just been ripped flesh had melted and some parts had turned black. The way it was sluggishly bleeding made it look especially gory.
I had to applaud him for not showing anything more than a thoughtful frown. Even I was feeling nauseous at the sight and smell, especially because this was my arm. Then again, this was his job. He probably saw worse on a daily basis.
“That’s not good,” he said, and didn’t elaborate. Ranae grimaced and motioned for his assistant. He murmured something to the boy.
I watched as his assistant ran out of the room and returned with a shallow wooden tub and several large bottle of something red. At my suspicious look, he raised his arms up.
“These are just healing potions. Haven’t you seen one before?”
No, fuck you, I’m from another fucking world.
I didn’t give him a response, but didn’t protest either as he poured the contents of the bottle into the tub and manoeuvred my arm into it.
“This will hurt,” he warned.
“That’s fine,” I said, bracing myself.
I grit my teeth as the stuff did its work. Feeling returned to my arm, and boy, was that feeling bad. It was like a million fucking tiny teeth were tearing into my arm over and over again, and then soaking it in some unholy fucking combination of lemon juice and salt water and lava.
“So, can you describe what attacked you?” Ranae asked. I was glad for the distraction from the pain and readily described the encounter to him, ending with how I jumped into the water.
He nodded approvingly. “Good call. Black Plated Wolves are too heavy to swim and the river would have washed away its corrosive saliva.”
Then he frowned. “There shouldn’t be anything as dangerous as that around here though… Diutor, remind me to report this to the Adventurer’s Guild later.”
Turning back to me, the healer asked, “How does your arm feel now?”
I looked down at it reflexively. What I saw made me raise my eyebrows in surprise. The mauled flesh had mostly knitted back together and the level of liquid in the tub had noticeably lowered. Even as I watched, skin crept over exposed flesh.
“That’s good. Leave in there for a while longer, and then we’ll take it out. Bandages.”
That last bit was said to his assistant, and the boy quickly fetched them from the shelves and handed them to the healer. He tossed them up and down absentmindedly as he talked.
“After you take it out, I’m going to wrap your arm in bandages and put it up in a sling. I advise you not to use it for a day or two, and even then, only light work, understand?”
“Doing anything strenuous will only lengthen the recovery time. It’s going to take some time before your arm returns to how it was before, but remember, being too hasty is only going to undo all your work.”
He huffed, catching the roll of bandages in his hand one last time, and muttered again, “So unfriendly.”
Then he clapped his hands together and announced it was time to take my arm out. The healer carefully lifted my now pale and thin arm out and wrapped it in bandages, using the material his assistant held out to him to make a sling.
“All done,” he announced.
I hesitated for a moment, then bowed to him.
“Thank you. I don’t have any money on me right now, but I’ll definitely repay you in the future, tenfold.”
Ranae seemed flustered and waved my thanks away.
“It’s fine if you just pay me back for a few health potions and a roll of bandages. There’s no need to go so far.”
I nodded but resolved to pay him back tenfold and more anyway. Hashiwara Mitsuko might be rude, crass, and generally ill-mannered, but she wasn’t an ingrate.
Not a complete ingrate, anyway.
Speaking of which, I probably should thank Kapren for helping us, now that I was in a better mood. No matter his motives, he still did help us, and we’d probably need his help in the future as well. I could forgive him for being interested in Mitsuo, because all he’d done was look and talk. So thanking him was probably the right course of action to take. I’d get on that as soon as possible.
-was what I was thinking, before I walked outside and saw the bastard pinning my brother to the ground.
I stared at them.
They stared at me.
My blood started boiling.
Kapren’s face started paling.
I opened my mouth.
A few minutes later, we'd all ended up back in the clinic.