“L'energii mistiche si riuniscenu intornu à mè. Fighjate à sta povera anima, sbattuta è torturata da u mondu, ora si trova allora è nimu cusì povaru per fà a so riverenza. Ùn avete micca pietà di ella, oh anime simuli? Sè vo fate, prestitemi a vostra forza per chì mi possu turnà à a gloria antica ciò chì era una volta….”
Tawna’s melodic voice reverberated through the still room as she recited the chant for healing magic of the highest order. A warm green hue emitted from her hands, pulsating rhythmically to the mystic words. She stood in front of the white-clothed healing table where Feriana lay naked, her mutilated flesh exposed. On the other side of the table was the hooded mystery man who had been introduced as ‘Satoshi’. With one hand grasping Feriana’s, his other hand went through her soft hair, caressing and calming her.
“Amu, oh simu ànime di stu mondu misticu. U vostru serventu ti chjama. Hè u mo duvere è a vostra benevolenza chì inseme pudemu purtà à u mondu una maraviglia cum'è nimu...”
They were still in her office, in the area to the side that had been separated using a curtain.
“Aghju daveru cusì parlatu per mitigà a ghjustizia di u vostru piacè, chì, se seguite, u strettu tribunale di Venezia deve rende sentenza à u mercante.”
Tawna finished her minute-long chant and the pulsing green light from her hands stabilised.
“Relax your body and take a deep breath.”
Feriana closed her eyes and did as told, her racing heart deriving relief from the presence of her saviour. Satoshi stared at Tawna’s hands with excitement. Reserved against external diversions, Tawna did not look at either of the two presences in front of her and just focused.
Her hands moved like a pair of turtles. They were slow, yet steady and resolute. Starting from the ferretgirl's feet, they carried the gentle glow to her thigh and then to her gut. Without stopping, the restorative lumination reached her chest and got brighter. To the healer’s experienced eye, it was clear that the injuries had seeped through the soft and supple flesh in the area, yet her pace never deterred, only the intensity of the mana spent increased. The magical hands continued on to circle around shoulders and neck, and just as relentless, went the other way down to her alternate leg. The skin around the more recent wounds was already starting to show signs of improvement. Tawna did not stop at any one spot unlike when the ratman was healing Satoshi’s arm. Watching her do it so smoothly, he could see her decades worth of experience. The healing was perfectly uniform, correcting the skin entanglement before doing the actual healing. The skin structure rearranged itself minutely in several places from how it had been disturbed and disfigured. The light from her hands changed intensity in accordance with the wounds, bringing the patient’s body in complete harmony as eventually her wounds resonated with each other and the scars started to become lighter.
Yet, Feriana’s unrest only escalated. The healing itself was not discomforting. It was warm, caring, loving. It made her feel needed, reminding her of her mother just like Satoshi’s wind embrace did. It soothed her, made her forget the pain and suffering. And that was precisely what made her uncomfortable. This time the pain wasn’t forgotten; it was taken away. The pain that she had gotten so used to, was slowly receding. It felt...wrong. Over the years she had come to believe that she deserved it, it became a part of her life. To her subconscious, it had become a defining fragment of her existence. What if she was going against the will of the world by choosing this? It was infelicitous to be seeking a simpler life. What if she would be punished? Worse yet, what if all of this was just a dream and she were to open her eyes to find herself tied up with her father to the front holding that same whip in his hand? The only thing that kept her from going insane was his touch. Feriana tightened her grip on his hand; big, and slender, and warm. That and the other that never stopped its dutiful rounds from her forehead through her hair kept her demons at bay. A salty fluid leaked out her shut eyes as she resisted the urge to disrupt the healing and kiss those godly hands, please them with all she could offer, caress them, revere them, beg them, beseech them.
The target of her zealous affections, though, was blissfully unaware of Feriana’s internal struggles. Satoshi was lost in his own world as he observed the healing with all that he had. It was marvellous; a work of wonder. It made absolutely no sense to him how it was even possible. The skin, that had been mutilated beyond anything that science from his world could have easily fixed, was coming together by itself in a matter of several minutes. It was at this moment he truly felt glad to be alive. Who would have thought such alternate universes could exist, if it was even right to call it that? He could fly, he had seen people create fire out of nothing and now this. How would this world develop if there was science? Or how would his previous world have been if ‘magic’ was there? It was indeed magic to him; something that was only possible through trickery in his previous world. To the people of the world, this would be common sense, something that was obvious, but to Satoshi, it was just so much more. It was another world, literally. He remembered his previous life. Slaves. Humans lived as livestock. Few enjoyed the riches of the world while the rest worked unknowingly their entire lives, to get them there. What is the point of life if you can’t be free, if your very existence is defined by how much others can profit out of you? Indeed, Darwin’s theory of evolution had failed to predict that natural selection would come in the form of caste, creed, race, religion, gender, family, colour, region, language, politics, jealousy, malevolence, ego, lust, hate, rape, murder, money, riches, possessions, bonds, fame, facades, likes, followers, subscriptions... Intelligence had broken millions of years of biological evolution.
In his teenage years, he would often picture the people around him as plants; trying to expand their shallow roots, not realising that all their petty attempts did was bind them further in a soil that had millions of other plants just like them. Soon though, he had to became a plant just like them. But he chose to be different. He did not expand; instead he would often uproot himself from society and make fun of it. But the others plants did not like that. He would be reprimanded and penalised for trying to live differently than was allowed.
But now he was free. His hair stood on its end as he bore witness to a beauty unlike any other. The light of life. He could feel the warmth emanating. As each of the ferretgirl’s wounds closed and scars faded, he felt it on his skin. The sheer ecstasy at the miracle in his sight. It was euphoric!
How much more existed in this world that he could experience? He wanted to see, listen, taste and feel the common sense of this world. It was only him who could potentially appreciate it. There was no one who could restrict him here. No other plants. The soil was all his! But he would rather roar in the sky than succumb to earthly desires as all the others had. And for that he just needed one thing: to be free. He had already sworn to live this life free of all earthly shackles. And that was all he needed.
Satoshi brought his thoughts back to the healing process in front of him. Feriana’s front had almost completely healed and now Tawna was doing her back. The process was clearly very taxing on the old woman, beads of sweat flowed down the side of her face to her neck. Satoshi observed her; she was a wonder in her own way. And he didn’t mean just the magic. Even though he had seen so many beastkins now, he still found them incredibly fascinating. Those round black deer eyes on a human face felt so surreal, yet it somehow added to her persona. The small movements with the eyebrows, and the blink of the eyelids, it was so fluent and uncharacteristically real. Her dear ears on her head stood straight as she put all her focus into healing the patient in her sight. The healing itself was a marvel that Satoshi just couldn’t get enough of. He tried to sense the air around it but there were no disturbances. With the fireballs, he could feel the harsh distortions in the air but here the ‘magic’ simply passed through the air unobstructed and did its thing inside the living body.
An hour was about to pass since the healing session started and small sobbing sounds from Feriana were audible in the quiet room. Her skin was regaining its lustre. A legacy of what once was and now should have been reinstating its glory. The scars were almost all gone and all that was left was her beautiful unblemished skin. From her once lacerated back that was crude to the touch, it was now slender and smooth. Her touche that had been brutalised beyond recognition now appeared nice, round and juicy. Her legs, all the way from her thighs to her calves and to her heels looked so enticing that Satoshi decided today was a super good day. And that it should be celebrated later, where the celebration would certainly include the taste-testing of this supple body in front of him.
The exhausted woman finally exclaimed. The green light from her hands disappearing as an ultimatum. She backed off but stayed ready just in case.
“Stand, little Feriana.”
Per the command, Feriana slowly used her one free hand to lift her upper body and froze.
“It doesn’t hurt….”
Tears dropped on the healing table leaving tiny round wet marks.
“Thank you…. *sob*”
She lifted her head and looked towards the one who healed her; she looked towards Satoshi. Tawna might have healed her physically but the sheer magnitude of emotional healing she had received from her hero could not have been even dreamed of by the past Feriana. It wouldn't be wrong to say he was the reason for her physical healing as well.
She pulled the hand that brought her a world she had stopped longing for.
“*sob*.. Thank you.. *sob*”
In between her sobbing, she chanted words of gratitude as she hugged his hand and kissed it. And kissed it again. And again. She rubbed it on her cheek. And kissed it again.
There was no way to convey her feelings. There was so much love, affection, respect, longing, devotion, overflowing that she could not contain it. All of it came out in the form of tears as she, unable to contain her own feelings, cried with abandon. She rubbed his hand on her cheeks, using them to caress her neck and sift through her hair and touch her sensitive ferret ears.
She didn’t care that she was naked. What did that even matter? Had he not already held her naked through the night? Regardless, there was simply no way the thought of hiding herself from him could come to her. He was her messiah. It was blasphemous to even entertain such thoughts. Just as long as she could stay in his warmth, it was enough. No, it was not enough. She so desperately craved his warmth, that if she could have drowned in it, she would willingly suffocate.
Suddenly she felt the hand she was handling get harder and move down. As she inadvertently let go, another hand joined and grabbed her by the arms. Next thing she knew, those endearing arms had moved to her back and her face was buried in the chest of the most enchanting man in the world.
Feriana was speechless at the sudden embrace.
Satoshi rubbed her smooth back and caressed her head. Her body shivered as she subconsciously embraced back her saviour as she buried her head in his shoulder.
And for the first time, cried loudly.
After a while that Feriana had tired herself out with the crying, she slept in Satoshi’s arms. He picked her up and put her back on the healing table where all that remained of her presence were her quiet breathing sounds.
Tawna had moved back to her chair to rest and enjoy the show. Even with the girl crying, she was smiling as it was clear to her that her cries were of love, affection and more than anything, liberation.
“I’m a little jealous to see you two like that.”
Tawna called out to the robed man. She leaned back in her chair as she sipped on something in a cup.
“I know you can’t hear me. Or rather, can’t understand me. It’s not easy to fool me, you know. It’s clear to see that you react to sound. Albeit frankly, I don’t really care about your circumstances. I’ve dealt with so many people in my profession that I won’t be surprised even if you’re royalty.”
Tawna took another sip out of the cup. She knew he wasn’t really able to understand her, whatever be the reason but she said it all just because she wanted to. She did, in fact, have more to say but there was no point.
Satoshi walked towards the older woman and put his hands inside his robe. Tawna got a bit wary in case the mystery man pulled out a weapon but she relaxed when she saw him taking out two pouches, obviously containing coins.
“Ah, you don’t know I told your slightly handsome wolfman friend that I would do this one for free.”
Satoshi ignored her rambling and approached her desk. He pulled out the coins and neatly stacked them on the desk.
“For as extensive a healing you made me do today, I would charge 5 large gold. Now though I did promise your friend that I will not take anything, I didn’t really expect the case would be this serious. So I’ll just take this as a token of your goodwill and we can call it a day.”
Tawna pulled up the single small gold coin, worth 50 times smaller than her would-be fees for the job, out of the entire lot that Satoshi had presented to her. She showed it to Satoshi, making it evident that this was all she was going to be taking. She pulled out a purse from her cleavage, put the coin in and let the purse disappear back into where it had come from.
“Though I would really like to see who you are.”
Even though she didn’t really expect the robed man to follow suit, she put her hands beside her head and did a sign of pulling down a hood. She did say that she wouldn’t be surprised if he were royalty but it was an overstatement, that too by quite a hefty margin. Even though she was indeed used to dealing with nobles and people of authority, royalty would be going a little too far. Well in the first place, it was highly unlikely that he was royalty. Like really really unlikely. Hence, it was part curiosity and part romance, that she get to witness some fascination in her routine life. Also, after such an intense healing session at such a cheap valuation, it was socially apparent that such a small request be entertained.
Unfortunately for Tawna, that logic didn't really apply to Satoshi. He was willing to go to any lengths to not disclose his race, especially in the mage’s guild where the possibility of him being ‘fucked up’ was a little too high. Even without such hardcore rationales bounding him, he was not a man that cared about other people’s expectations unless it would suit him. To him, what happened here was strictly business and the old deer lady had extracted her proper fees of one small gold coin. She may have ripped him off since he was alone and did not know of the market price but he was willing to overlook it for the valuable demonstration of her magic. Well, he couldn’t really be blamed for his scepticisms since his other encounters with healing did not associate any monetary extractions. Hence, this was definitely quite expensive in comparison.
Hence, Satoshi shook his head in refusal and put the coins back into his pouches.
Tawna simply sighed in disappointment and waved her hand, telling him to leave her alone. It was more due to the lethargy from the heavy magic usage than due to Satoshi's response.
Tawna shouted for her assistant, her shout clearly much weaker than before. The slender koalakin girl promptly made her way in.
"Yes, madam Tawna."
"How is Rovango?"
"Mr. Rovango was taken to one of the special rooms, as per your command. He tried to raise some fuss, but it was quickly resolved with mutual agreement."
"Fufu, with mutual agreement.”
Tawna laughed, knowing that the sentiment would certainly not be shared by her former student.
“Anyhow, is the wolfman still around?"
"No, madam. He left as soon as he came out."
"Ah, I see. Help this man here dress that girl and shift her to one of the resting rooms. She's free to leave as soon as she wakes up."
The koalagirl picked up Feriana's yellow gown and wordlessly moved to assist Satoshi in putting it on the girl loosely. Satoshi discretely used his ability to control Feriana's breathing to make sure she wouldn't wake up.
Before Grimola could move the table that the now dressed Feriana lay on, Satoshi picked her up in his arms.
“Let him be.”
Tawna interrupted before Grimola could say anything. The four people thence, moved out of the office towards the resting area.
"Madam, you are coming as well?"
"Ah, I will rest for a while as well."
The usual expressionless Koalagirl's expression changed. She looked at Tawna with shock. Tawna was among some of the best and most experienced healers in the kingdom. For her to be wishing to rest told her how strenuous the healing session must have been.
The professional girl quickly fixed her expression and continued leading them to the resting rooms.
At a turn, Satoshi stopped and took the other way.
“Mister, it is this way.”
Satoshi simply kept walking.
The girl in reference looked towards her madam upon the odd happenstance.
“Follow him out and return.”
“Is he leaving, madam?”