Essairyn looked up at Chona. “You’re familiar with travelers?”
Chona nodded and replied thoughtfully, “Well, we’ve always had people appearing from Earth throughout all of history, but it’s become sort of a common occurrence these last few decades… Apparently there’s a link between Sol’h’meyr and Earth that was created thousands of years ago which causes the appearance of travelers. I’ve never heard of it occurring the other way around, though.”
Her last sentence pricked Essairyn’s ambiguous conscience. She immediately felt a sense of relief upon hearing there was no way to return to Earth. It was soon followed by guilt as she admonished that relief. And proceeding, she felt emptiness. “Ahh,” Essairyn breathed in understanding. “So it’s not unusual then.”
“No, but—“ Chona started and then stopped when she saw her husband sitting up and fully conscious. She patted his thigh, asking, “Banran, how’re you feeling?”
Banran nodded his head in assurance. “Very well actually. I feel like new right here.” He thumped his chest and smiled at the two of them. Then he bowed gratefully at Essairyn and addressed her directly. “Thank you so much, Essairyn. I couldn’t have made it without you.”
“Actually, it was my first time healing someone, so I’m glad it worked out,” she replied sheepishly with a smile.
The couple was taken aback by her words. “Your first time?” Banran exclaimed, and Essairyn nodded.
“I initially thought you were from Neu’arth because of your clothes, but have you not been in Sol’h’meyr long?” Chona asked.
“I haven’t even heard of—” Essairyn paused and then continued questioningly, “New-eh-art?”
“Neu’arth. It’s the name of a region in As’pyze where humans predominately live. It got its name after Earth, from the world you came,” Chona explained and then added with a light chuckle, “It was supposed to be called ‘New Earth’, but not all of the humans agreed upon an English name, and the natives wanted something in their language. In the end, they came to a compromise with Neu’arth.”
“English?” Essairyn echoed. She suddenly realized that she had been conversing with people without thinking about which language she was speaking. She hadn’t perceived it until now, but she had spoken some words in English, her first language, while the rest she naturally spoken in the native language. Essairyn gasped and covered her mouth, and then dropped her hands and exclaimed, “Oh my goshhh!! I’ve been speaking the native language this entire time without even realizing it! How did that even happen? Is there some sort of magic that automatically translates speech here?”
The couple laughed heartily at Essairyn’s excited outburst. “Yes and no,” Banran clarified, “Travelers can naturally speak and understand the native language when they arrive, so it makes sense you didn’t realize it until now. Since I’m not a traveler; I don’t know what it’s like, but I suppose it must be like an automatic translator. Those who are born here, however, learn the languages in the typical way.”
“Wow, that’s amazing,” remarked Essairyn.
“It definitely makes it easier for both sides to communicate,” agreed Banran.
Chona nodded and added, “If you focus carefully, you can speak completely in either language. We actually both spoke the words ‘English’ and ‘Earth’ in your English language.”
Essairyn opened her mouth in a silent gasp. This world didn’t cease to both amaze and daunt her. Despite all the danger she had faced since her arrival, she loved all the new discoveries and experiences. As that notion passed her mind, she heard the scurries of small feet in the grass. She turned around and saw Jerry and Akari running up to them.
“Mom!! Dad!! I was so scared!” Jerry cried as he flung himself into the arms of his parents. Chona rubbed the boy’s back comfortingly, and Banran patted his head. Akari seated herself by Essairyn and looked up at her.
“You did a crazy thing trying to heal someone else for the first time. You could’ve died you know,” Akari admonished.
Essairyn chuckled. “Is healing another person dangerous?”
“Not unless you’re a healer which you clearly aren’t.”
“But I healed him!” Essairyn protested.
“In the most unconventional way!” Akari countered. “You mended his tissue and bone by creating new tissue and bone! You’re supposed to amplify his magic with your own magic so he heals himself!”
“I thought you said humans can’t use magic! How can they heal themselves?!”
“It’s the natural healing process, you idiot! You strengthen their little magic cells and send them on their merry way to the wound site!”
“What kind of explanation is that?!”
The Andelrins burst into laughter at the girl and fox’s squabbling, and the two looked curiously at the family.
“You guys are so funny!” Jerry giggled.
“You sure have a strange way of showing concern, Akari,” Chona remarked playfully. Even if the two involved didn’t realize it themselves, they had already started to form a bond which was apparent to others. Their relationship was a quirky mix of tiptoeing around one another while also getting into the other’s business.
“There’s a first time to everything,” Banran chimed in, “And not everyone can say they defeated a third tier demon as well as healed a life-threatening wound.”
“Hmph. I wasn’t worried about the demon,” Akari scoffed as Banran got up to inspect the damaged wagon. The jaguar’s claws and tail had struck four large holes and a dent into the wood.
Banran frowned at the exposed interior. “Even though it was strong enough to tear through hy’lkron?” Hy’lkron was one of the most durable woods found in all of Sol’h’meyr. Comparing it to iron from Earth, it was three times stronger.
Akari shrugged. “Pretty sure Essairyn here could easily destroy the whole wagon if she wanted.” Everyone blinked at her statement. Akari coughed.
“Anyway, I’ll try fixing the holes tomorrow morning,” Essairyn offered. “Do you have something to cover it up in the meantime?”
Banran nodded. “You really think you can fix this though?”
Essairyn grinned confidently. “I’m pretty positive I can pull it off.”
He chuckled and went to fetch tarpaulin to shield the wagon. Then he suggested for everyone to go back to bed. Essairyn could fix the holes in the morning. Banran went back into the wagon, and the rest headed over to the tent. Essairyn retrieved her spear on the way.
“Now that I think about it, how’d you even know how I healed him?” Essairyn queried as they walked, “You were in the tent with Jerry.”
Akari shrugged. “Easy. You’re not a greenie because you’re human, and you’re not a white mage because you have lavender colored magic. Those are the only two types of people that can naturally heal others. Otherwise, you have to study and practice healing for years.”
Essairyn tipped her head questioningly. “What’s a greenie?”
“Elementals from As’glyfe, a subkingdom of As’eryt, also known as green elementals, otherwise called greenies, by me,” answered Akari.
“Greenies, haha. That’s a cute name for them,” commented Chona as she entered the tent. The others followed suit and settled under the covers again.
“Ah! I don’t know where you two are going in Reisparte, but if you want to quickly learn about Sol’h’meyr, Essairyn, I suggest visiting the Knight Mage Academy’s regional school in town,” advised Chona. “They offer a free crash course on Sol’h’meyr to anyone interested. Also, the main campus is located next to Neu’arth if you wanted to visit there too.” Chona paused thoughtfully before continuing, “Usually only the top fighters and scholars in the land can study there; however, with your abilities I think you’ll have a great shot if you’re interested!”
“Huh, that does sound interesting,” Essairyn thought out loud. She could also relieve Akari of some of her teaching duties. She also anticipated what a magical school would be like. Science and advanced mathematics probably aren’t taught right? Since magic can easily create and probably calculate things? Her mind churned with eagerness, and she pushed down her enthusiasm for a later time.
Chona yawned. “Mmhm. Anyway, let’s sleep for now and continue this talk in the morning. We still have about thirty miles to go.”
Essairyn murmured in agreement, and Chona put out the lamp.