The flames caused by the recent battle had already been extinguished and burned out. The soldiers that had fought that battle had been long replaced by healers sent from the temples to search for survivors. The healers were cladded in hooded robes and carried staves for their spells. Many had silver feathers adorned on their back, each feather a mark for work they had done. As the day approached its end, many of the healers returned to their home temple, unable to continue their work due to exhaustion. None of the high ranking priestesses wanted to risk their healers to the dangers it caused.
The problem with the healers is how they gain their power. The angels they commune with are prideful, looking down on humans. Just to use their power, the healer has to gain a certain level of respect from the angels, but even then, they could tire of the healers quickly. The results of forcing the power out of them can be quite erratic and extremely risky.
One of the rookies found that out the hard way as she tried to heal a soldier that had been impaled by a spear. It had missed any vital organs, but he was fading fast. The young woman tried with her full power to take the angels’ power by force to heal this man, but within moments, she was coughing up blood. Her chest felt as if it was on fire as she collapsed onto the dying man, losing her life as well. Despite that, she was lucky to get the least brutal of those effects.
Only two healers remained in the village. The leader of this group, walked up to her partner, telling her to leave. The leader had planned to finish what work was done on her own, having accomplished far more than any of the healers that had been there combined. She walked through the village; most of the people already healed completely or were already dead.
A coughing sound drew her attention. She turned to see what looked like a gathering of a dead family, a mother, a father, and a son. At least she thought they were all dead at first, but the boy shifted from between the man and woman, severely wounded, but still hanging on. “Mom. Dad,” he called for, trying to wake up his parents. The boy was far from being a babe. He looked like he was about to begin his journey to adulthood, but wasn’t quite there yet. If she didn’t act now, that journey would end before it started.
“They are dead, young one,” the healer said. “Let them sleep, and step away, so I can heal your wounds. They will not want you to die today.”
The boy, holding back tears, nodded. The woman leaned down and picked the boy up, being careful not to further aggravate any of the boy’s wounds. He cringed in pain, but she saw this as a necessary evil. If she couldn’t get the boy away from his dead parents, she couldn’t do the work needed properly.
As she lied the boy down on the ground, the softest part of the land she could find, she instructed the boy to lie still as she held her staff towards the boy. At this, she started to speak in a foreign language, one not known to any man or woman of any country. No human language could command the power she sought.
“No… while you have our respect, we are not your slaves,” a disembodied voice spoke within the woman’s mind, it too in the same language she was speaking.
“This boy needs help. Lend me your power, now,” the healer responded in kind.
“Remember your place, human. You have no power over any of us,” the same voice replied. “You and your healers have already saved enough victims.”
“What is one more to you?” the healer asked.
“What does it matter? If you want this power badly…” the voice sounded defiant. “You’re going to have to take it.”
The healer wanted to chuckle. Pride swelled up from within. “Don’t think I can’t. I’ve done this plenty of times to be able to control it. You angels will not get your chance to kill me.”
At this, the healer forced the power out herself. It nearly overwhelmed her immediately, but her experience with this power did not let her fall to it. She channeled it all into the boy, fully intent to make sure he lives for many more days.
The boy’s body spasmed as the power entered his body. He looked like he was screaming in pain, but nothing came out. The healer had never seen anything like it during her time. At the same time, she could barely make out the boy’s muscle tone becoming slimmer. His body, grew minimally, barely enough to make the blood stained clothing look like it shrank on him.
While it took little time in reality, the boy had lost sense of time. Every second felt like a day to him. It felt like the pain from his injuries, the burning sensation of the healing, and the knowledge of what just happened dragged on forever. He felt that weeks had passed. He was scared as new pain developed from his rapid growth, feeling as if his bones were being stretched and his muscles and skin being torn. The only thing he could ask himself was why.
The question of why was never answered, but the question of who was. He blamed everyone who further fueled his anger, anger at those who attacked the village, those who failed to defend it, and those who failed to protect his family. Adrenaline and testosterone rushed through him, his rage growing into a full torrent. Then this woman, who claims to be healing him, is torturing him. He believed she was taking great delight in the torment he endured.
The healer felt the full brunt of exhaustion, but realized that she wasn’t dying. The boy breathed heavily after the spell let go of its hold. Not only had the wounds closed, but the boy had grown slightly. He would need new clothing, even if his current clothes hadn’t been blood stained. It made the woman wonder what other changes had taken place, as it appeared he had aged slightly.
Finished with the final task in this village, the woman turned away from the boy, looking to return home. She had taken no more than five steps before something slammed into the back of her head hard, causing the world around her to go black as she fell to the ground. The boy she had just healed stood over her, a shovel in his hand. He breathed heavily, exerted from the use of his new strength. However, his anger still swelled to new heights as he lifted the shovel again and swung down on her head with all of his strength. He repeated this, wanting the woman to suffer as much as he had, for as long as he had.
After a few minutes, he stopped, using the shovel to hold himself up and catch his breath. The woman was barely hanging onto consciousness, onto life. Her head practically numb between the loss of blood and concussions suffered. However, no one was left to heal her, now left to the whims of an angry child. She didn’t know if the angels knew this would happen or if she made a mistake. Whatever happened, her pride still blinded her to the answer.
Her questions would remain unanswered as the boy caught his breath. He picked up the shovel one last time. His wrath had not ebb the slightest, as he swung down with what remained of his strength. The woman remained completely motionless. The boy dropped the shovel onto the ground. Even the healer’s death could not satisfy his wrath. He stumbled in fatigue, but his adrenaline kept him standing as he walked off. He could not find rest until his anger was abated. For as long as he sought that relief, his village, his kingdom, would know fear.