Book III - Chapter 5

 

Chapter 5

[Dren]

“I’m not saying you were wrong to take it, Tuth. I’m just saying that you should have asked, first.” Dren explained, while interpreting a wild set of gestures. “Just because they dropped it, doesn’t mean it’s fair to pick it up and walk away. At least try and give it back to them.”

At that, the only reply he earned was a scoff, as Tuth shook his head.

The crowded street was thinning out, afternoon markets packing up and turning in. Traders rolling up carpets and blankets of goods, heading out to elsewhere. Beside Dren, Tuth spun a recently acquired necklace, gold glinting in the sun, before it slipped back into his pocket.

“Look, it could have meant something important to them: sentimental value.” Dren ignored the disapproving look. “Well, it could!” He insisted. “You might have stolen someone’s family heirloom- in the middle of an earthquake, no less. Times like these, mankind needs to trust one another.”

From the continually shaking head, Dren felt as though Tuth didn’t seem particularly convinced.

Turning the corner, at the next smaller plaza, the damage of the recent events happened to be more visible. Several stalls had collapsed or dumped goods into the street, while some of the less-maintained buildings seemed slightly… off-balance. Walls that were just every so slightly off their normal angles to the ground. Or, roofing for that matter, which seemed in disarray, almost everywhere. Missing ceramic pieces in odd locations, sunken in portions. Even the streets were effected, in some places. Despite the thick bedrock of the City foundations, cracks had been spotted running up and down certain avenues. The depths of which, were enough to make one question exactly how far down they reached.

Still, if seeing the city in such a state bothered Dren, it was the inhabitants which troubled him more.

“Healer!” Already, he could hear as someone called out, far off in the distance.

Injuries, covered in dirty cloth, or daze stares. Desperate, gaunt-faces, looking through whoever passed them by. Even if the occasional quakes were small events, they still caused suffering. Just one more danger, forced on lives already stretched thin.

“We need a healer!” Beside a market stall, half buried in rubble, Dren saw a group calling out. “Send for the Church!”

“Hold on, Tuth.” Dren said, turning towards the noise. “They need my help.”

Tuth set a hand on his shoulder.

“Only for a moment.” Dren shrugged free. “I’ll be quick.” He continued towards the gathering. Begrudgingly, Tuth followed. The crowd was small, but the urgency was clear. Huddled around, each attempting to resolve whatever it was that had gone wrong, Dren had to pull someone aside before he could see the wounded person on the ground.

“Healer! Send for one of the Church! We’ll pay!”

It was a younger man, quite badly caught beneath a cracked support of stone strand. The rubble had piled atop it, fixing it securely to the ground. Unfortunately, with the upper section of arm, past the elbow, along with it. Upon their arrival, the group gave a shout, and lifted at once, as a woman pulled the man free.

Their success came with a horrible cry of pain. Even from a distance, catching all but half a glimpse, and Dren knew bones were more than broken. Compounding injuries like this were often the most troublesome. Fragments and pieces which might interrupt the healing process, if not properly alligned.

“Healer!” Beside them, the woman shouted.

Much To Dren’s surprise, though, he wasn’t the first to respond to their call. As he waded through the group, an armored figure pushed past him. Quickly dropping to the dirt and grim of the street, without hesitation, they set a hand upon the injured man in prayer.

By the grace of he who watches over, not for reward, I offer only the smallest portion of his justice.

May the hate which calls to you be quieted, and their rage satisfied.

Their voice was soft, but stern. Though Dren recognized it as a woman’s, the words had an unearthly quality about them, that seemed to bring silence after every verse. No one else dared to speak, or whisper, or breathe. Dren felt the hair on his neck and arms begin to lift, as a pressure built.

“I give you the gift of life. May you use it wisely.”

As if the flash of lightning, or the crack of thunder: the spell discharged in a sudden burst that spread out among them like a wave in its impact. Though he was not nearly so aware as Eveth, Dren could swear the scent of Faith burned in his throat. Just as he could feel the magic running through his veins.

By the time he came to his senses, the wound being healed was gone.

“Amazing.” Dren whispered.

As quickly as they had arrived, the armored figure stood back up, group parting for them with bows of thanks. They didn’t slow in the slightest, until their gaze fell on Dren.

"Can you mend?” From beneath her helmet, blue eyes had locked to him. “You have a medicinal pouch, are you from the Clergy?” She asked. “You’re the first I’ve seen, today.”

“I’ve trained in the arts.” Dren replied. “I do my best.”

“Good, there are still people who still need us.” Turning towards Tuth, she nodded again. “It never hurts to have another set of hands, either. We should get moving.”

“I…” Dren looked to Tuth, who seemed equally dumbfounded.

Still, the woman didn’t wait heading past them. Already, they were moving towards another set of voices, calling out for a healer.

“Are you coming, or not?” She shouted over her shoulder. As she marched ahead, she pulled her helmet free to reveal a bright blond hair, already catching in the wind.

“Are you going to…” Dren looked at Tuth, to find he was already following. “Of course.” Dren shook his head. “Now you want to help people.”

……………….