Essairyn huffed in stimulation as magic suffused her body. She took a deep breath and walked calmly over to the fallen demon while forming a magic weapon in her hand. The stunned beast laid motionlessly on the ground, but as soon as she came close, it jerked up in alarm and scrambled to its feet. The jaguar growled menacingly and flicked its eyes from her to the wagon to the tent. Just as Essairyn was about to reach it, the jaguar noticed a small fox in the corner of the tent entrance. Its red eyes lit up in recognition, and it darted toward Akari.
Essairyn’s eyes widened as she realized it was heading toward the tent. Chona and Jerry screeched in fright and clambered away from the entrance. Akari tensed, ready to bolt. These damn demons just won’t let me go! She hated her powerlessness. And a prick of guilt slipped into her heart. While Essairyn had promised to protect her, Akari knew that she was purposefully putting the girl in peril. The fox could only helplessly watch Essairyn race after the beast demon.
In Essairyn’s right hand, the magic weapon swiftly took on the shape of a spear. With her left hand, she quickly casted a barrier in front of the beast. It crashed into the barrier, and the barrier shattered into shards of light. But it was enough to slow down the demon for the one second Essairyn needed to pinpoint it. She hurled the spear into its upper back, impaling the demon into the ground. It howled in agony, and its skin sizzled around the spear wound. Essairyn tromped over, a magic sword in hand. This was the fourth time she had formed the sword, and but now she hardly needed to think before it came into shape. Without any hesitation, she hacked the beast across its back, just below the spear. The thick flesh put up some resistance, but the sword severed the beast cleanly into two. The edges of the halves began dissipating along the split, and a low growl echoed in the air as the demon dematerialized. Only the spear lodged into the ground was left.
As soon as it vanished, Essairyn spun on her heel and raced back to Banran by the wagon. Seeing that the danger was over, Chona scrambled to her feet and rushed over to them. Jerry remained seated in the tent, sobbing with small fists covering his eyes. Akari looked on mournfully and placed a consoling paw on the boy’s knee.
“Banran!” Chona hysterically screamed as she tumbled to her husband’s side. The man weakly opened his eyes and grunted in pain as he tried to sit up. The jaguar’s claws had lacerated him across his chest and down to his stomach.
“Stop,” Essairyn commanded, “Don’t move.”
Banran flicked his eyes hazily toward the girl on his other side. “T-The beast demon,” he fumbled, “I-I couldn’t—”
Essairyn stopped him short by putting a hand on his wound, making him flinch. “Just keep lying down. I’m going to try to heal you.” Since Akari had mentioned that magic could heal others, then Essairyn was positive that she could will it to happen. Just like cutting, compressing, and flying, she believe she could imagine the healing process too.
Taking a deep breath, she shook aside any concerns and looked at the wounds resolutely. Easing her mind, she laid her hands on the injured man. Essairyn let her magic flow gently into the gashes and imagined the tissue closing up and the bones fortifying. The magic glowed in response, and Banran let out a gasp as particles of lavender light sunk into his flesh. They began reforming and reattaching tissue and bone, and Essairyn smiled in success.
Meanwhile, Chona looked at the girl with riveted eyes. She couldn’t believe what she had just witnessed. Not only were they attacked by a third class demon in the middle of the night while camping out on the roadside, but the stray girl they had picked up wielded magic and single-handedly defeated the aforementioned beast demon, and now she was healing her husband. Chona was both terrified and transfixed. She glanced over at Akari who was with her boy, wondering how the fox spirit and girl were related. Spirits and demons often clashed with one another, so it was possible that the demon was lured by Akari’s presence or had a feud with her. This meant that the whole ordeal could’ve been caused by her. Chona returned her gaze to Essairyn. Even if that was the case, Chona’s intuition indicated that she could trust the girl, regardless of her relationship with the fox spirit.
“I’ll go get some healing potions. They aren’t potent enough to heal this kind of injury but…they might still be helpful,” offered Chona, and she went to fetch them inside the wagon.
Essairyn nodded, but as more of her magic flowed into him, a faint ache began throbbing in her center. She furrowed her eyebrows in agitation but continued healing him. However, the magic seemed to be pouring out of her as if his body was siphoning all of her magical energy. She was being depleted fast, and Essairyn wasn’t sure if she could maintain it for long. Her arms were growing weak, and her body, heavy. But the wounds were rapidly healing, and she was determined to finish. Just as Essairyn’s vision was becoming hazy, Chona returned with the healing potions. Seeing the girl’s strained state, Chona rushed over, knocked her away from Banran, and caught her in her lap.
“Essairyn! Essairyn!” she called frantically as she held the blankly blinking girl. “You overdid yourself! Are you okay?” she gently scolded with a worried face.
Essairyn squeezed her eyes shut and held her pounding head. “Thanks,” she murmured, “I guess I overestimated myself.” She grinned apologetically at Chona.
“Here,” Chona ordered, holding a bottle of green potion up, “Take this.” She flashed her eyes toward Banran who was slowly getting up. “It looks like you’re the only one who needs this now.”
Essairyn gave a short, light chuckle. “Looks that way. Thanks.” She took the bottle lightly in her fingers and slowly drank the potion. A warming and cooling sensation spread throughout her body, and she instantly felt the tension subside. “Wow,” Essairyn exclaimed, looking at the empty glass bottle, “That was kind of cool.”
Chona chortled. “I’ve never seen a healer almost faint while healing, or a someone look at a potion as if it were her first time unless—.” She gasped and raised her eyebrow at Essairyn. “Wait, you’re not a traveler, perhaps?”