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Dreamweaver Chapter 17




Frantically I followed Asakura Sensei over through the jagged rows of trees and the other areas where was passed people’s grass huts. Because we were all in the woods we got scratched up by bushes and had to dodge things sticking up at us while we ran. There were dips in the uneven broken forest ground too, and areas with sharp rocks because of how close this place was to the mountains. There was also a consistent wind and long grass among the sections of shadowed trees that was nearly waist high in some places, which was whipping past me as I followed teacher over to where they had been resting.

By now the long line of less than a hundred people had become completely disorganized, because they had to put the huts wherever they could and still be hidden. Some of them seemed interested in where we were running too, but we weren’t the sentries so they didn’t become too alarmed. Plus many of them were resting from injuries too.

Finally while my heart was pounding we got there. I’d even tripped a few times along the way, not seeing some wood debris buried in the grass, though somehow Sensei had avoided it. Sensei had this peculiar ability to sort of run without falling over stuff, but then again she wasn’t as bruised up as I was.

Rina was in a feverish sweat and completely out cold. I’d seen her get like this before. It was like she’d get hot and cold spells while sweating but be really high fever too. People often called it a night fever or night sweat, but she was getting them during day and night when she wasn’t even physically active. It’s hard to even explain, but she was probably dehydrated too and she’d already been weak.

“Quick, I need some water from the river. Can someone go?” I said. I checked her pulse, and listened to chest. She was hanging on…somewhat. She was fighting it I could tell, and probably felt really rotten all over her body. Rina’s skin was cold though, and didn’t feel right, while checking her over. I could feel she was losing her body heat and not able to regulate it properly.

“Already on it,” Yumi said, she’d come back carrying a bunch of water in one of the other kid’s hat of all things. Her hands were shaking badly while she carried it because of the terrible worry that had come upon her.

“Good timing,” Asakura encouraged, getting in close to help any way she could. She looked to me for direction. Sensei seemed a bit calmer in demeanor, until you saw her eyes which were full of negative emotions of all kinds.

Yumi pushed the hat of water forward, as carefully as she could and while trying to keep anything from spilling from it. It had dripped a bit on the way here, but it was a good hat and so by lining it with wide leafed river grass in the bottom she was able to keep it from leaking too much. She still didn’t want to spill any of it on Rina though.

“Can you hold it steady? I’ll need your help, both of you,” I asked.

“Sure.”

“Just tell me what to do,” Asakura said, echoing after Yumi had already spoken.

I had her hold the hat of water near her mouth, while I spooned the water into her mouth with the tips of my fingers in small leaky bits and bunches of droplets. Because of not being able to carry much in and her inability to swallow it took a long time and was very painstaking. Because she wasn’t very conscious she wasn’t able to get herself out of this. So it was up to us, to try to get her re-hydrated.

“Do we have any salt?” I asked desperately.

“Eh? Salt? Why salt?” Sensei asked, surprised.

“Yeah, the idea is we’re simulating what’s in the body. You’ve heard of people giving animals or people in shock electrolyte solutions right?” I asked.

“I’ve heard of people running a marathon drinking water with a pinch of salt in it. Is that the same thing?” Yumi wondered.

“That’s the same idea,” I confirmed.

“Oh, I lost my purse. That’s where I sometimes have extra salt and napkins for my lunch,” she said. She fished around for a bit, and then pulled out a McRonaldu’s napkin and a small salt packet. She tossed them too me.

“Eh?! You have those? Sensei, did you steal that from the restaurant?” Yumi gave her a big smirk and Asakura blushed deeply, not answering directly.

“I don’t steal!” Asakura protested. Then less audibly I heard her say, “I can’t believe my own student would accuse me!”

“I suppose free condiments don’t count,” Yumi complained.

“Shut up!” Asakura whispered darkly.

“OK, so we stir it in the water,” I said, opening it up.

“Eh? How much of it?” Yumi asked.

“It’s a small packet, so all of it.”

We continued to work hard transferring the saline solution to Rina’s mouth.

I had to prop her up, too with her leaning against Asakura with her arms around her to help preserve body heat and also to keep her elevated so she could breathe easier and still so the water could go down slowly.

She still hadn’t woken up, so that made things extremely complicated. Even after we’d shaken her arms a bit and slapped her cheek lightly with the palm of my hand she didn’t wake right away.

“At least it’s not the hottest part of the day. With it being nearly night time now we actually have a fighting chance,” Asakura said.

“Would the hottest part of the day be that bad?” Yumi wondered.

“Absolutely. It would put more stress on her system and cause more water loss when she needs it most.”

“Hmm, I see,” Yumi admitted, but still looked very discouraged while I was going over the vitals again.

“How do you know how much water you can do?” Yumi asked intently. Of course she’d ask that, she was closest to Rina, more than everyone here at least according to the world of Yumi and her sphere of influence.

I didn’t lose too much time thinking about this because I’d been over it many, many times already with mom late at night and while we were alone together just me and Rina when my parents had to work late. That made things a little bit easier dealing with knowing what to do, and less scary but not by much. Of course when I was at home we could use a syringe to spray water down her throat when she didn’t feel good and other things, and we didn’t have anything like that here.

“Well it’s tricky. I’m not a medical expert, but when she’d collapsed like this before the first thing they did was load her full of medicine and an IV drip. We don’t have that technology with us now, so we’ve got to just sort of spoon drops of water down until she wakes up. But it has to be really slow and careful. Also the angle of her throat and trachea had to be just right so she won’t choke and so it’ll just drip down,” I said, trying to be logical and not stress out…which was hard. Nothing is worse than a family member having trouble.

“This is…harder than it looks,” Yumi said, with crushing despair in her voice.

“Do you want me to move? What should I do?” Asakura asked, a little bit too energetic. She was trying to force herself into the action. Her desire was to help, but she was…getting a bit too intense. For me I was trying to not become intense and panic, so I had to be careful I handled her now.

“Just stay like that holding her up from behind and keeping her warm,” I pleaded, to which she nodded back.

“So you think we can do anything else?” Yumi asked after several more minutes had ticked by. It felt like we’d been at it for hours, but I suspect it was maybe just over an hour doing this. Still even though it was starting to take the paleness out of Rina’s cheeks we didn’t let up.

She kept staring at Rina.

After awhile again, we checked her pulse.

“It’s good right?” Yumi asked hopefully, but not really sure. She was hoping for a good sign of some kind.

“She looks a bit more…ruddy in the cheeks?” Asakura asked.

“Hmm, yeah a little pink is coming back,” Yumi nodded, gritting her teeth.

I shook my head, “her complexion did only improve a slight, barely even a budge. But she’s still too cold. We have to keep her stable in all areas. And she’ll need to rest.”

“Let’s keep it up! If the three of us all help, it’ll work,” Asakura encouraged me.

“Err…Akimoto was catching fish at the river right? If we had a pot of some kind I’d have them make a fish broth to spoon to her. But I don’t know what they’d do for a soup pot or soup bowl,” I tried to keep my voice even, feigning control and calmness. Inwardly it was the opposite of course.

We kept finger flicking water down Rina’s throat and mouth with the both of us, while we had another girl help us with runs for water to and from the river and Asakura stayed all night with us propping her up.

“What happens if this isn’t enough?” Yumi asked.

“It’ll have to be. We’ll make it work, somehow,” I said.

Hours later and the red sun was going down behind some of the nearby mountains. It had already gotten pretty dark in just the last couple minutes. Sensei had fallen to sleep but still had Rina propped up. But Yumi and were still working at this so long now our fingers and hands hurt and ached like crazy. There wasn’t much else we could do.

“I’m so sore, but I don’t dare let up,” Asakura said.

“Me too, but let’s stick with it,” Yumi said clenching her fists and echoing her feverish stare at Rina after another long period of waiting. As time progressed and my arms started to hurt, Yumi also helped me drip water droplets down Rina’s throat.

I didn’t blame Asakura Sensei for falling asleep though, it probably made her back and muscles ache like crazy with Rina propped up over her. She was still doing well and providing a service just be having her propped up like this. Sometimes she’d wake up though, and she wasn’t being callous, it’s just that the whole last day or so had been pure hell for everyone.

“So what do we do now?” Yumi asked.

“Now is the hard part. We have to make sure she stays breathing all night,” I said tiredly, wishing there was something comfortable to lean against, but there wasn’t. Sitting on the grass didn’t feel that good after awhile either.

“Eh? She’s going to be fine right?” Yumi pleaded after we’d gone through another hat of water. It may sound like we’d fed her a lot of water with two hats full, but much of the water had actually dripped out.

“It’s a fight for her life. We thought she was recovering and through this, but now I wonder if what my parents told me was true. She’d started to look good a few weeks ago. We were told it was in remission and that she might be able to try to have a normal life. So I’m not even sure what her status is really at right now,” I said.

“But she’s so weak. Looking at her now I wonder how that can be true,” Yumi cringed. “Did she just relapse or was it a lie?”

“Yeah, really weak. To answer your question, I don’t know. When she has really weak spells like this, she doesn’t breathe very good. See look at her chest move up and down,” I nodded.

“It-it’s hard to tell if it’s moving,” she said scrunching up her nose. She leaned in close, and then listened over her chest, with my uniform jacket covering her up from earlier from when the orcs ripped up her shirt.

“Wait, I can hear it, but it doesn’t sound good. It’s not only weak, but like a small wheeze or something is there with it too,” Yumi said.

“But how long will she be out of it for?” Asakura asked.

“She won’t sleep forever will she?” Yumi was really terrified. After all, Rina was her best friend.

“Well if we get her tissues and body replenished with fluid, hopefully just tonight. There’s no guarantee at all though,” I said.

“Oh man,” Yumi whispered hoarsely.

“Yeah, so we have to keep her going,” I nodded.

“How?”

“Well if she stops breathing, then we’ll do CPR all night if we have too. We’ll never stop, even if it’s a full day of heart massage and mouth to mouth. That’s all that we’ll do,” I said stiffly and resolute with all my willpower on the line. There’s no way I’d let this go badly….but I was biting my lip so hard there was blood. She was my only family left right now. If something were to happen, I’d feel really exposed to the elements.

“But a full day…that’s so long?” Asakura nearly gasped.

“But it’s my only family. What other choice do I have but to sacrifice so she can get through it?” I shrugged.

“What about the others?” Yumi asked.

“We’ll have to ask Akira and Yuriko to keep an eye on the others for now till Rina is out of the woods,” I said.

“Hmm, I see. Doesn’t that worry you though?” Yumi wondered.

“Yeah it does. Those yahoos aren’t the most responsible of people even when on our own world with adults around. With those things gone I feel like I need to go shake them all up and slap them silly to be responsible. You know when Yuta’s parents went out of town last year, he only ate cheetos for a month straight.”

“EH?! So he’s like that,” Sensei gasped in shock.

“Who could do such a thing right?” Yumi wondered with big eyes.

“Yeah, he snapped out of after he got so sick he pukes whenever he smells cheetos now,” I said. “But especially if the new powers and magic of this world go to their heads, but you can’t sacrifice your own family for your career right? This is the same. If I let Rina go to be a leader and take care of those other people, then wouldn’t I become the kind of person that shouldn’t be a leader?” I thought aloud.

“So eating cheetos equals a demonic being now?” Sensei wondered aloud.

“Cheetos are pretty awful. They smell like garbage,” I briefly interjected.

“I know right? I can’t stand them. Why do people like that kind of stuff?” Sensei wondered.

“Do you think it will go to their heads?” Yumi wondered.

“Well…if someone will eat junk food for a month straight…” I started but shook my head.

“That’s so…disgusting,” Sensei’s face looked like she’d seen a ghost.

But then it happened, before I could even respond or think straight. Rina slipped even further.

“Oh shit!” I accidentally yelled while panicking and ready to tear my hair out.

“What? What is it?” Yumi asked, seeing I was upset.

“She stopped breathing,” I said.

I yanked her out of Sensei’s grasp so yard that Asakura woke up. Sensei gave me a confused and terrified look, partly from not being sure if she’d done something wrong and partly she wasn’t sure what to do.

“We have to get her flat on the ground quickly,” I said.

“What? What’s going on?” Asakura asked in a panic.

Yumi was suddenly crying, and her hands were shaking. “What caused this to happen? I thought she was better!”

My hands were shaking too. “It might just be the stress of the past day on a weak body, weakened even futher.”

I laid Rina flat on her back and then only because it was the medical procedure had to open up the jacket Rina borrowed from me as fast as I could. I tried to ignore her bare chest staring at me, but Yumi somehow trusted me. She knew I was only following the CPR rules, which were if clothing will restrict CRP move it out of the way or open it up.

Then I began checking her pulse and heart. Everything had stopped.

So I first found the sternum and then there’s a specific spot just in from the bottom of the sternum where you begin pumping the heart artificially with your palms over each other and your elbows somewhat rigid, so you can get consistency with the heart massage. But you have to do it just right or you can break the ribs and even do too much pressure on the heart. You have to do it just right, and Rina was a bit too skinny compared to other girls, with a small frame even though she was pretty tall.

“Count for me,” I asked Yumi directly.

“One, two, three, four, five,…how high do I count?” she asked.

“Don’t stop!” I said annoyed that she’d interrupted. So she kept counting while I answered her. “Count to ten, with each number matching the pace of my pumping rhythm. We’re aiming for about 100 to 120 beats per minute. We have to be consistent!”

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten,” Yumi counted off.

Then I briefly and hurriedly breathed into Rina’s mouth once.

“Eh? Is that a kiss?” Yumi blushed.

“Knock it off. That isn’t funny,” I said rudely.

“Again! Keep counting!” I ordered. I didn’t cease pumping but kept it going. I was worried I might put too much pressure and crack her ribs, because she was so skinny.

“What about me? What do I do?” Asakura asked.

“You can breathe once for each ten breaths, but do it exactly with the mouth and jaw at the same angle I do it. Watch me do it a few times then I’ll have you take over and help,” I said quickly without stopping.

Asakura watched carefully as I had the neck and jack open up at the exact position. Neither of them said anything but they were terrified and so was I. “Make sure to keep the jaw tilt just like so,” I said.

“OK,” Sensei answered back, watching carefully.

“Yumi, you also keep your fingers over her neck watching for a pulse, if anything shows up that isn’t caused by me massaging her heart you say so, and begin counting it. Also keep the time, read off every minute interval, don’t stop unless I say so,” I said.

“Eh? OK,” she nodded and then kept her fingers over the spot you normally use to watch a person’s pulse and then comparing it with her watch.

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten,” Yumi read off.

Then Asakura breathed in her mouth, while my heart massage was reset.

We kept going at it. Still nothing, Rina’s skin was starting to look really pale, but it was like she was sleeping and could wake up at any time.

“It’s not working,” Asakura started sobbing and sniffing, while trying to hold it in. When she tried to remain calm it got worse.

“We’ll make it work. We can’t stop, even if it takes all night,” I said. In the end, willpower wins.

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten,” she read off again.

“Breathe,” I ordered.

Asaskura didn’t have any worry of sharing germs and put all her courage into it.

As Yumi began reading the next set of numbers, I coached Asakura. “After you breathe in, then pull back quickly because when it kicks in and they finally wake up they will vomit some water as part of the reaction of their heart and lungs starting to work on their own,” I said.

“Got it! Dang it. I wish I’d learned this before. It’s so simple. Why didn’t I study CPR as part of my teaching career?” Asakura voiced her regret.

“It’s OK, We’ll make this work. We’re not stopping, for anything,” I said.

After what seemed like an eternity I heard movement behind me.

“I thought I smelled death,” said a voice I recognized, but I couldn’t turn around. I had to stay focused.

“What the freak are you doing here?” Asakura said angrily. Wow I’d never heard Sensei swear. They generally didn’t like teachers to swear of course. But that didn’t mean there weren’t some real reasons not to.

Then my blood chilled as I realized what was happening, and who was behind me.


Kenji was behind us. Kenji...the necromancer. The necromancer that needs dead bodies to fuel his power.

And as a necromancer he’d come to try to steal Rina’s body, I realized. He must have found a skill, or already had a skill of something to do with sensing where fresh bodies would be, or to help find them.

This can’t be happening!

This can’t be happening!

NO!

“Freak!” I accidentally said out loud. I was afraid to turn around to see him. Even if he was a fail necromancer how did he smell or tell that Rina was this close to death? Did he smell it? Like hell would I let him have her body. I’d kill him first. Something inside me refused to let that happen.

“You need to leave now!” Yumi said, in between starting over her counting to ten with my rhythm. She was giving him a look that said something evil would happen to him if he stayed.

“I’ve come for my next minion. It’s destiny that Rina joins me and Yamamoto Sensei as the perfect soldiers. I will make her mine with the other girls I recruit for my …death study club. I should have done this years ago! It’s fate!” Kenji said seriously and very calmly.

“I don’t think so,” I said, as I kept pumping.

Kenji’s feet were heard sloshing through the dewy grass as he moved forwards towards us. Didn’t he realize what kind of stress his being her was doing to us?

“Why don’t you accept it? It’s inevitable. Her body is tired down to the bones itself, and she’s fought long and hard and is completely exhausted. Now she belongs to my realm and my kingdom,” Kenji said haughtily. He didn’t realize how strange and inhuman he sounded. I couldn’t push back my anger, but at least I was trying to not let him see it, in case I needed to pulverize him.

All my being was trying to pull Rina back. I had to keep her with us. If she could have a life her then so could I. But what would be the point of a place where there was no one with me but myself?

Kenji tried to say something, but Yumi started screaming at him to shut up.

“Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shuttttt UPPPPPP!!” Yumi wailed, with tears hitting her chin.

EH? Was Yumi a bit yuri? I hadn’t noticed it before. But the way she was looking at Rina…no way, I could be wrong maybe? Or was it my imagination. But Yumi did seem a bit close with her…

Still it helped that she was helping me fight to keep her here, and with Kenji behind us…perhaps she’d help me keep my sanity and prevent me from trying to murder Kenji.

But in my mind I kept thinking about Rina and pulling her here to life. If she could live…I could make the other parts work.

Then the blue sparkly thing suddenly shot out out of my hands unexpectedly! There was a blue wavy glow that was enveloping Rina from my hands that came out. It was burning and brightly blue in color, but a sort of pale blue and warm and encompassed Rina all about and suddenly I didn’t feel the need to do the CPR heart massage. In feeling it was like wrapping yourself in peaceful feelings. The energy and blue feeling was pouring out into Rina.

That was...magic?

Is this...my skill?

What...I held still as it went into her.

Then suddenly she opened her eyes, after rolling her head to the side and puking a small amount of water. Because she had eaten almost nothing in a whole day it didn’t really smell much.

Asakura immediately began cleaning her up and helping her sit up. “Did you just...” Asakura stopped in mid-sentence.

No one else says anything either. But they are giving me funny looks.

“Eh? Shun? Did I fall asleep?” she looked a bit sleepy somehow still.

“Eh?”

“EH?!!”

“Whattttt?!”

“Cheater,” Kenji fumed in frustration. Then I heard an “Arggh, why did he interfere?!” again after that.

“It’s OK, just rest, but sit up against me for a bit,” Asakura Sensei said wrapping her arms around her in a hug.

“Damn you Shun!” Kenji angrily shouted at me. “You stole my undead princess! I won’t forget this!” He stormed off, leaving us alone. It was better that way…for his health…

“What’s he talking about?” Rina said, raising an eyebrow at Kenji, who was leaving.

“Don’t pay attention to that idiot. He’s confused and totally delusional. Right...also don’t be alone with him for awhile either,” Yumi said, patting Rina’s arm.

“Yeah, Yumi and Shun know best. Thanks for taking care of me. I’m sorry!” Rina said sincerely.

“Don’t worry about it,” I think we said it at about the same time.

“Yeah, he hit his head on a rock and has been saying weird stuff all day,” Sensei said as innocently as she could make it look on her face.

“Yeah, he’s about to hit his head on that rock again,” I muttered.

“I’ll help too,” Yumi said choking with anger and wiping her tears on her sleeves of the jacket she was wearing that was still all wet, but now much cleaner.

Both Yumi and Asakura were staring at the popup window that had opened in front of me. It was a blue screen in hieroglyphics. Somehow…I had a strong feeling that I knew what it was going to say. I still wanted to hear about it. It’s not that simple that I could guess everything on my own anyway.

But why hieroglyphics?! The system of this world was really messed up!

“Shun? I feel so weak still. I’m so tired,” she said in a really low voice. Her forehead crease told me she felt pretty awful still…so did that mean the ‘heal’ didn’t totally work. It helped but it didn’t solve anything.

“Dang. It’s not a full cure all after all,” I frowned.

“But it’s something...whatever you did,” Asakura said in low tones.

“Hmm, yeah, it’s a start right?” Yumi wondered aloud. She felt Rina’s forehead with her hand.

“Well that’s to be expected. It can’t be like an unreal cheat. That would be too easy and unrealistic,” Asakura smiled. “I’m just glad you made her OK Shun!” she had grabbed my hand and was holding it with both of hers and looking really excited.

“So how many “cure” spells will it take to heal her?” both Yumi and Sensei suddenly wondered.

So it was cure wasn’t it. Or something small like it.

I looked at my hands in wonder.

So ...inheriting magic by going to another world?

That doesn’t make me or any of us an expert though.

Our hopes were down when I said, “I have no idea and it might not actually remove the problem but just keep pulling us back from the edge. It could even be dozens or hundreds since I’m new at this and barely got it to work.”

But somehow Asakura was undeterred. I was afraid to look back at her pure but a bit excessive admiration. She was kind of looking at me funny…

“So what?! She was like about to die Shun! This is amazing! Just keep taking care of her everyday with that skill!” Asakura exclaimed.

“Eh? I was?! Shun? You saved me?” Rina asked, getting teary eyed.

“But it’s not enough. We just barely pulled you back over the edge. It’s still too early,” I protested, very disappointed. Very little was healed. It was just I’d brought the sliver from the edge of the cliff by a minutely small amount, but it was still next to the cliff’s edge…

“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! That was a heal! Holy freaking cow! It’s just like in an RPG!” Asakura Sensei gasped in astonishment.

“Eh? You used magic?” Rina looked shocked.

“Eh?! Sensei plays games too?” Both me and Yumi said it at once. That was more astonishing than the heal actually. Really it was! Were adults allowed to play RPGs and stuff I wondered. And being a beautiful teacher that played is still even weirder.

“Eh? No…no….No I don’t play games at all!” Sensei was blushing terribly and avoiding our gazes. “I’ve never played Wine-dictus or any of those games at all! I definitely don’t play any of that stuff!” She looked away. I could tell she was lying and so could Yumi.

But surprisingly Yumi was too tired to hate her for her RPGness factor. “…I…give up…” Yumi said.

“What’s that?” we both asked.

“Nothing,” she sighed. She muttered something about too hard to fight the world I think…

But we were all so surprised we all didn’t know what to do next. We were like totally distracted now and Yumi and Sensei were jumping up and down excitedly.

“Eh…Shun! You have to keep casting it on her! Do it all you can! We have to go all the way with this!” Yumi cried out desperately. She began shaking and tugging on my arm like crazy. “Please Shun!”

“Eh?” To me it was good but why were both of them so excited? It wasn’t a magic bullet and Rina still looking weak and tired and deathly ill was still the same. I felt tired just seeing her tired. Was she always going to be like this?

“This is so amazing! Do you realize what this means?!” Asakura called out. “You can really make people’s lives better!” she gasped in astonishment. “Shun! You have a competitive advantage that any of the others would kill for!”

Both of them started jumping up and down again. She’s hanging onto my arms in a funny way.

“Shh! Don’t make such a darn fuss! Do you want the whole world to know?!” I chastised both of them. “Be quiet!”

“Oh right,” they both said at once.


“But why is it a big deal for the others to not know?” Yumi wondered.

“Because people do stupid things when they are jealous. They are already about ready to murder me just to be take my axe,” I said.

“Right...that axe is good to,” Yumi pointed out.

“But is having an axe that good? We can surely get more right?” Sensei asked.

“It’s not as good as having a heal magic job,” Yumi confessed staring at me like I was a stack of money. In fact that stare was scaring me a little bit. I edged away a couple inches.

“It is if you are trying to build a log cabin, or if you need to chop firewood. And what happens if the guy you want to borrow it from won’t give it to you for free?” I suggested.

“Oh, right.”

“Now picture that plus, what happens if you find that person has two, err three, pretty girls around him you like and has a magic job and you don’t have anything. And you really WANT what that person has and ‘think’ that you can’t live without it?” I said.

“Oh that’s pitiful,” Yumi said in pity. “I’d be jealous. Heck, I’d want to do something about it.”

“So what do girls do when they are jealous of each other at school?” I asked.

“We steal each other’s gym underwear and then set it on fire. Among other things. Or in gym class when she goes out we might put pepper and itchy spice stuff in her shirt and bras,” Yumi said.

“Wow, I had no idea that was you, Yumi,” Sensei looked astonished at Yumi like she’d committed a crime. Sensei was so surprised her mouth was wide open in shock.

“Eh? I only did it once Sensei! Please believe me!” Yumi pleaded, now feeling anguish, and looking really guilty.

“Ah, it’s ok. Really.”

“Yeah, but what if the only way for you to have a life is to get rid of anyone strong than you or that looks more unique?” I said.

“They wouldn’t do that,” sensei said, puzzled.

“If there were police and law and order in this world maybe,” I said folding my arms.

The girls looked serious for a minute but didn’t say anything. “No police…yeah that’s scary already,” Yumi admitted looking down.

“So we need to protect each other,” Asakura said seriously.

“Well anyway, Shun please heal Rina more! Do you know how it works yet?” Yumi wondered.

“Let’s figure it out,” I said.

Actually it’s kind of daunting to worry about.

What if it doesn’t work? What if I mess up?

What if I can only do it once a day…?

Right...concentrate. Don’t let fear get to me, I thought as I try to reason with myself.

At first I fumbled a lot.

It took a long time to get it to work again. We stumbled through everything badly, but they stayed with me through the whole evening.

So we had to run a series of experiments to find that part out.

The first time by accident didn’t tell me how it worked. Then I had to experiment with Rina while she kept getting sleepy eyed. Then we had interruptions waking her up because we didn’t want her to sleep until we’d pumped “heal” or “cure” or whatever it was into several times. I tried touching her with my hands with no success. Then I tried to picture it happening in my mind. Then I tried both together. Still nothing. Then I tried saying “Cure!”, while feeling really silly that didn’t work. Then I had to picture the intensity of bringing her back from the edge.

But it was serious enough Yumi and Asakura didn’t dare laugh.

“Think about the emotional state you had when it happened?” Sensei suggested. “Try again!”

That slowly did something and I felt myself get faint in the knees, while a blue small spark appeared in my hand that was resting over Rina’s chest, by this time Yumi had closed her jacket of course, since Rina hadn’t been noticing it or trying to do anything about it yet. It faintly glimmered as it entered her body, but it was so faint that there was barely a visible effect and also it was so small and weak that it sputtered like when you are trying to start a gasoline engine that is twenty years old with a bugged starter.

“Sweet! It worked!” Yumi clapped.

“Not really,” I protested.

“I’m so happy for you Shun!” Sensei said.

“But it was so weak, and it made me feel weak!” I protested worriedly, again, this time more fervently. They didn’t seem to get how weak it was, and how weak it made me feel.

“It actually would be unreasonable to think that the first time you use magic you’d hit a home run,” Asakura coached.

“So try it again, till we get it right,” Yumi said, while shaking Rina awake again.

Again I tried it. It hit me kind of hard and I realized there’s a cost to this. It’s not just like opening up an endless can of pop. There’s a certain amount that you can do and then it’s empty. When I tried it again, I could feel the weak feeling creeping up my knees and linger as I tried to extend the spell.

The blue spark was a tiny bit brighter than being a near death blue spark, but not much more as it hit Rina. But this time while feeling my hand over her heart I felt a definite feeling as it went into the heart itself and that was like a jolt of consciousness to me.

“Wow.”

But again the weakness didn’t leave right away this time. The first time the weak feeling was there only a second, but the second time trying it the weak feeling lingered for a good three seconds, and was accompanied by sweating coming down my forehead like I’d ran the mile.

“Eh? This makes you tired!” I exclaimed.

“It does?” Yumi exclaimed. But then she could see the sweat and my catching myself from the feeling.

“You better be careful Shun. Don’t do too much,” Sensei said.

“Do you feel strong enough for one more,” Rina asked, trusting me.

“Sure,” I agreed.

I tried it again, this time while saying “Cure!” Slowly the blue spark definitely caught life and flowed, with a tiny, tiny barely visible glow spiraling down into Rina’s chest.

“Th-that feels warm. Thanks Shun!” Rina said. “W-what is that?”

“It’s keeping you alive, that’s what it is,” Yumi smirked. She was now happy, seeing her awake.

“I can’t believe it?!” Asakura exclaimed.

“N-no problem.”

“I’m sorry Shun! I wish I could …help you… more!” Rina said, and then dropped into sleep.

Before sleeping, I tried it a few more times…

Yes!

It’s working...most of the time.

 

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