The Milostiv

by

fawks

Chapter 76 - On Likes and Dislikes

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  Gabrio found himself writing with his writing stick. Ever since the journey he had always kept a record of his patients, and was rather worried about the records.

  Zyra managed to get the records going even with my disappearance. Thank that young lass for it. Hmm, young lass?

  Gabrio stopped writing. He tapped the tip of his writing stick on the side of the desk. His eyes staring at the records.

  Those things are getting into my head.

  He recalled the memory of when he saw the earth mother. Those visions made him see a memory of an older gentleman who fought on an island until he was bloodied and bruised.

  Is this a side effect? The memory of that world with iron boats and metal birds...and that

  A bloodied machete. White and rough fingers strangling a neck. This ‘dream’ had been repeating ever since he had been given the treeheart.

  Every night I seem to be walking that dream again and again.

  The dream was becoming a memory. A memory that was starting to feel like it was him all along who had done those.

  As he was pondering on what was going on with him. There was a knock on the clinic. He hurried to the door of the clinic, and opened it. Caldor Ando’s rough and roguish look was in front of him.

  “Doctor.”

  “Sir Caldor,” Gabrio replied, making way for him. Caldor Ando looked for Terin Gaspar, stood in front of his bed and shook his head. “Thank you for making him sleep, Doctor.”

  Gabrio didn’t reply. He watched Caldor Ando with his arms crossed.

  “Are you resentful of us?”

  “I can be nicer to the son of light, knowing how bloody hard it is already for him. That pillar of light, was that him?”

  “Yes,” Caldor Ando remained frosty, “he has managed to place a new power into him.”

  “I see,” Gabrio looked away. “It’s not my place to say this, but you really should point it out to him that he needs to stop thinking about whose side he is on. Caldor Ando, I am a Doctor, I am in-charge of the health of the people that the crew considered ‘Milostivians’ by now.”

  Gabrio regarded Caldor Ando before continuing. “I don’t like you people.”

  “You didn’t hide that from us,” he laughed curtly.

  “I sure didn’t.”

  “May I ask why?”

  “Bad impression.”

  “Is that it?”

  “It’s a gut feeling you get when you grow up in Fort Rava.”

  Caldor Ando snorted. He looked at Terin Gaspar solemnly.

  “So did you answer? Whose side who should be on? Who is on the right?”

  “I did. But I wouldn’t be sharing that with you. But just in case, tell me who you think is right.”

  “We are. We need to get him to blind the eye of the world and then reach the heart. Hesitation right now wouldn’t lead to anything righteous.”

  “That so?” Gabrio went to the medicine cabinet. “I can see that you have wounds that need healing.”

  “The lady has taken care of it.”

  “I know, but let me make sure just in case.”

  Caldor Ando looked at him. His eyes were confused. “I just don’t get you, Doctor.”

  “If you can somehow ‘get’ a person, then you must be either a long-lived Elven-kin or old. Please raise your arm, I need to see it clearly.”

  Caldor Ando reluctantly lifted his arm. Gabrio inspected the wound and saw how the wound had been closed. Healing based on accelerated healing. In a way, this could be why they are formidable, but his wound is older than the rest of his skin.

  “Is it fine?”

  “It is. What a cheat.”

  Caldor Ando retracted his arm, and hid it under his cape. “You...are at least a dedicated one. The crew admires you for that.”

  “I see.”

  Caldor Ando straightened his gaze, and set his jaws. “I can respect you as a Doctor. At least you are dedicated to what your role is.”

  Gabrio didn’t give him a glance. He placed the medicine he took from the cabinet, and replied. “I made an oath. That’s just how it is. I’m sure that when you took on this role as being the savior’s companion, you made a promise to someone or something. I don’t know that you are trying to accomplish, nor what you people are up to. But let me tell you this. I’ve seen enough people in fort Rava who had questions like that to be sick about it. Whether they were right or wrong in doing what they did in whatever they had done in the past.”

  Gabrio had seen his Teacher dull up people. How he broke their minds, and recorded it for the sake of his research. Fort Rava, it was a place where the bastards of Aon were thrown. He had seen enough prisoners hanging themselves on crossbeams, and screaming for their crimes.

  “He’s not a criminal,” he said, disgusted at even comparing Terin Gaspar to a criminal

  “He’s not. I know that I am not that older than him, but he’s still young. You’re treating him like he has the wisdom to take on the world yet.”

  Caldor Ando glared. “You speak as if you know what’s going on.”

  “I do. Because he wouldn’t be asking a Doctor of a Grand Galleon questions about which side he should choose. I mean if you do treat him as the son of light, and not the son of a person, then perhaps you may be right. I don’t know what’s going on at all. I only know how to look after people, not an all-powerful savior who could do much more than I ever could.”

Gabrio knew that he had to be strict as a Doctor. But it doesn’t mean that he had to be an ass about it. He didn’t find it in his heart to nag on someone whose face looked like he was lost on what he should do.

 

*****

 

  Gabrio didn’t speak to Caldor Andor after that. He remained on the desk of his clinic, writing the records, and checking the supplies.

  Looks like Zyra was busy with the clinic when I was gone. She’s been keeping records as well, hmm, we aren’t exactly lacking medicine, but we would have to worry about medicine that could affect wounds.

  Gabrio turned a page. He was about to penned down his records when he heard a visitor come in. With the door being unlocked, he could guess who the person was.

  “Zyra, how’s our disinfecting kits?”

  “Starting to get low,” Zyra eyed Terin Gaspar, and walked to her desk. “Lord Seke had been generous enough to handle the supply problem.”

  “So that's why you were not around.”

  “I have to take the trip since you weren’t here,” Zyra placed her forehead down on the desk, before looking up. “It’s great that you’re still alive, Gab. I mean it.”

  “Oh, that’s okay. Hmm, thought you’d be accompanying them when they went and made that pillar of light appear on the horizon.”

  “I didn’t join them because of the trip. I couldn’t leave the task to Wiles and Millie. Wiles helping out in the beachhead, administering first-aid. Millie...well she’s not really good lately.”

  “Is she pregnant?”

  “How’d you know?”

  “Thought it would happen later. Saw her tummy becoming bigger when I checked up on him. I’d thought she might be so I had to ask some of the madams to watch out for her.”

  “At least they aren’t wasting time,” Zyra traveled her gaze on him.

  Gabrio raised a brow at that, then looked back at the records he had been scribbling about. “She can still help in the clinic, act as a clerk, but other than that, I’m more worried about how safe her childbirth would be.”

  “She’s still in her three months. I have been keeping her close when I’m around. At least the work would be less loaded with you around here.”

  Gabrio leaned on his chair. “So you’re going to follow them?”

  “I have to. It’s a promise that I have to keep.”

  “I told you before that you do what you do. Don’t involve me in that business.”

  Zyra eyed him for seconds. “If you ask nicely, I might stop following them,” she gave a weak chuckle.

  “No, I think I won’t.”

  That quieted Zyra. Zyra sat straight up and crossed her arms. She turned her gaze to where Terin Gaspar was. “I hope nothing is wrong with him.”

  “The lad is,” Gabrio shook his head. “Terin Gaspar, he’s having a hard time with his role in all of this.”

  “Oh, you talked to him?”

  “I did.”

  “Thought you didn’t want to be involved with them.”

  “I still do,” Gabrio answered. “Doesn’t mean that I can’t worry about them, they are still part of this crew, and as the Doctor of this Grand Galleon, I still need to care about them.”

  “Despite what they had done? Saving Terin before you?”

  “I do hold that grudge, but I am a Doctor. I know how to separate my profession from my personal life. Besides, I had a long time to think about what they had to do.”

  Zyra slowly nodded.

  Gabrio resented them for what they did. If they had acted then maybe he wouldn’t have been thrown into that hell, and forced himself to the limit of what he could do. He wouldn’t have taken half of someone’s life in him.

  But at the same time he had to do his duty as a Doctor. I have to do it. I have to remain as I am. I have more time, but who knows what could happen in the long run? I might not be as lucky next time.

  Gabrio couldn’t imagine going through that hell again. What’s worse than experiencing that hell was the feeling of helplessness, the inability to anything other than struggle.

  Zyra sighed. “I’ll have to keep going with them now that you are here. I’m sorry that you have to make do with this.”

  “No, it’s fine,” Gabrio wrote in the record book. “Like I said, you do what you have to do.”

  Zyra breathed out a sigh of relief. “I was afraid that you’d be demanding.”

  “Oh, I would like to keep you here. This is your role, your duty for this Grand Galleon, but you know what? I think that our savior there needs some helping. You're more sensible than Caldor Andor or even Lady Rosalia. Someone needs to treat that guy like he’s human instead of someone that should do everything. They’re guiding him, but in a way they are forcing their thoughts on him.”

  Zyra chuckled. “When did you start caring about him?”

  “I don’t. I just know that he needs help.”

  Gabrio thought of that look on Terin Gaspar’s face when he pulled him to the deck, along with that lost expression he carried. He hated expressions like that. It felt like he was looking at the many people he had met before.

  “Help, he’s the son of light.”

  “He is. Lad is just a person with the power of the goddamn sun in him. We should be thankful that he still has enough sense to ask what is right or wrong. Humanity’s keeping straight, without it, he might as well just be the living embodiment of the sun meant to ‘save’ us from creatures of the interstice.”

  “Hah, when did you become wise?”

  “During dinner, probably?”

  “Ha ha, it’s good that you’re back here. I thought it would be beyond me, but it seemed like I wasn’t truly meant to be in a clinic or a hospital,” she stared at her palms. There was a dulled look on her face that made Gabrio want to ask what’s wrong.

  And yet the words didn’t come out of his mouth. He went back to writing down his records, and keeping track of the medicine that they might use in the following days to come.

  Zyra left the clinic before long, leaving Gabrio alone with a lamp and the record.

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About the author

fawks

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Bio: Someone who you would find scratching his head, staring at the empty wordless page.

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