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Hunter Lindholm: Hunter groaned and flung an arm over his eyes. It was well past midnight, he was the only one left awake in the infirmary. He’d been healing non stop since the attack, and was absolutely exhausted. Thankfully, they didn’t lose any more lives. I am ready to sleep for at least three days.
He slowly opened his eyes again, staring at the ceiling. His thoughts flew back to Akkey. She woke up a few hours ago, screaming and completely disoriented, but alive. Just like Maya… well, except for the water part, he mused. His father used the same spell on her ten years ago; it was what saved her. Hunter remembered his words. Kiddo… think very carefully when you use this incantation. You can’t take it lightly. He didn’t understand it then, he still couldn’t understand it now. It was simple to cast, an easy transfer of energy to quicken the healing process. What did the old man mean?
He mumbled under his breath, “Elohim… essaim…”
“I wouldn’t throw those words around, if I were you.”
“Hol shi-!” Hunter leapt out of his seat, heart racing. He looked around him wildly, and saw small child seated on a stool, with extremely short blonde hair and brown eyes. She wore a simple shirt and pants, her feet bare and swinging, “Whoa… you surprised me, little lady. What are you doing here? Are you injured?”
The girl ignored his question, and said, “Your father was correct. Those words are heavy.”
He did a double take, confused, “How do you know…?”
“Do you know what those words do, boy?” the girl hopped off her seat and slowly walked up to him.
“They… they make people heal faster by transferring the mage’s reserve power,” he didn’t know why he gulped. Perhaps the way the girl looked at him. It was a sad and tired gaze, almost pitying him.
“Those are ancient words. They call upon the gods… and ask for an exchange.”
She crossed her arms, “Your father used the same spell with your wife. It grants a wish from the heart, but in exchange, you need to give yourself to a god. Specifically, to me. Eir.”
His stomach dropped. Eir…?
“Your father… because he used that spell to save Maya, he is now aligned with me for this war. As will you,” the goddess sighed, “I am a minor deity, a goddess of healing. War is the last thing I want. But it is inevitable. Those who make wishes swear their lives to me.”
“The rabbit child should have died the moment you started her surgery. She lost too much blood. But using that spell, your heart’s wish saved her. It is because of that… she lives. And you… you should have not been able to heal any of the rebels, because you are aligned to me, not Mistress Hel.”
Hunter brought a hand to his face, his knees wobbling, “I didn’t… I didn’t know… oh my gods… I didn’t…”
“I am not an unkind god, boy. I knew you didn’t, so I gave you a chance. I kept her alive, while you saved more. But you have to make a choice. Swear yourself to me, or the child dies.” she clasped his arm gently, eyebrows creased, then slowly vanished.
“You have three days. I’m sorry.”