Crossbreeds Part 3: Chapter 47 Shields by RedPhantom ()
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Mila’s muttering to herself woke Nim.
“Good morning Mila. Welcome back,” he said softly.
She jumped. She hadn’t seen him laying there.
“Nim? What are you doing here?” She asked.
“Recovering from surgery. Don’t wake up Jo,” he said pointing to the floor near the bed where Jo had set up a bedroll.
“Surgery? Why was Shunati performing surgery? He’s not supposed to do surgery on his own. What did you need surgery for anyhow?” She looked a little surprised. The typical healer policy was no surgeries alone unless there was an emergency.
“Shunati only assisted. Thailyn did the surgery. He repaired my bellyfire.”
“Thailyn? Ann’s father? He’s here and using my healing rooms?” She frowned. She, like most healers, was quite possessive of her domain.
“He’s been helping Shunati. Taking care of healing duties and Vaila got to be too much for Shunati.”
“May I?” She asked, gesturing to the bandage.
Nim nodded. She unwound the bandages and examined the incision. “I won’t pull the packing. It looks a little red. I’ll talk with Thailyn about it,” she said, replacing the bandage.
“He’s staying in the room across from Ann and Andy.”
“What else’s been happening? I got in late and haven’t heard the gossip. Why is she using a sleeping potion?” She asked pointing to Jo.
“She keeps waking up in a panic because she can’t feel me. Shunati gave her some so she could get some rest.”
“How much green bough are you taking?”
“Three doses every few hours. They both insisted.”
“What else is going on?”
Nim briefly explained about Jaidu and Shay and Ann’s pregnancy.
“What was wrong?”
Nim shrugged. “I didn’t hear. I just know she’s keeping herself drained rather low.”
Mila nodded. “I’ll talk with the guys on that too. Anything else?”
“I had eta-vie poisoning, but Thailyn cured that. I don’t think there was anything else major.”
“Okay. You get some rest. I’ll have some breakfast sent in.”
“And someone to feed me,” Nim said. “Jo’s going to be asleep for a few hours.”
Mila nodded. “Of course.”
A short time later, Ann came in, bringing the food. “Good morning,” she said. “I heard you’re hungry.”
“You know you have to feed me, right?”
“Nah, I was just going to put it by your hand and let you toss it into your mouth.”
“Are you supposed to do that?” Ann asked.
“Thailyn said it’s okay if I do. It’s more the throat than in the lungs.”
“What do you want first, the chicken soup or the pork chop?” Ann asked.
“No. It’s biscuits and venison sausage and fruit.”
“Thailyn said you needed it. You like oranges. There was also oatmeal, but I thought that might get messy since you can’t sit up yet.”
Ann started feeding him. “Father wants to have a meeting and we want to use your study.”
“My study? Why my study?” Nim asked between bites.
“It’s bigger than mine since I turned half of mine into my lab, and you’ve already got some of the shields on it.”
“Some? I’ve got all the shields on there, scrying eavesdropping, spying.”
“There is more we need. I’m going to shield it like a lab. Father has several things he wants to talk about, including Shay.”
“Why not use one of the meeting rooms? There are some with shields.”
“We can’t fit a bed in the meeting rooms. They want you there. As soon as you can be moved, we’re having it.”
“Me? Why me?”
“You studied with an immortal. Shay wants you there. She thinks you may know things. Listen, if you don’t want to use your study, we can use my receiving room. I just thought your study had more of the spells already.”
“You can use it. How many of the spells can you cast right now, though?”
“I can do them all, no problem. But, Pt’this and Mishtali are going to help.”
“How’s the wound doing?” Ann asked.
“When the green bough wears off, it hurts pretty badly. Jo’s been good about making sure I get the potion. Mila said it was looking red but didn’t elaborate. Thailyn said yesterday that he thinks he’ll be able to close me up soon. Then, I can move around. I really hate having to have someone else do everything for me.”
“I understand. I had that problem for a few days after my trance.”
“I keep reminding myself it isn’t permanent.”
“How’s Jo doing?”
“She worries. She tries not to let it show, but it does. I could tell even without the bond. She wakes up in a panic because she can’t feel me. This is the first time she slept more than few minutes.”
“Maybe you should let her sleep in the bed.”
“We tried. She panicked when she woke because there was someone in bed with her and she didn’t realize it was me.”
“Is she still having problems from where Nor’than abducted her?”
“Not so much, no. She sometimes gets nervous alone at night, but that’s not safe anyhow.”
Ann nodded. “She was never fond of that. I should get going. I’m meeting with Pt’this and Mishtali soon. Do you need anything else before I go?”
“Can you get me my drawing stuff?”
“Sure.” She placed the drawing board under his hand and gave him a piece of charcoal. She placed an extra piece within reach. “Do you want the one you were working on or do you want a fresh piece of parchment?”
“Fresh, please. It’s not as if any of this stuff is any good. The parchment keeps moving and everything is backward. It just helps keep me from getting too bored.”
Ann placed a blank sheet of parchment under his hand. “Do you want more than one?”
“No. Jo should be awake before I finish. If not, I may just sleep.”
“Okay then. Contact me if you need anything else,” Ann said. She took the breakfast dishes and left.
In the hall, Ann passed the dishes off to a page to take back to the kitchen. She then went to Nim’s study. Jaidu joined her as she readied to start the spells.
“Don’t you have class?”
“I’m done for today. I was looking for Mishtali. I was told he’d be up here.”
“It’s only mid-morning. How can you be done?”
“They’re doing stuff that’s too advanced for me so I have the rest of the day off. Master Elos said he’d work with me to get me caught up. Where’s Mishtali?”
“He’s not here yet,” Ann said.
“Did your mother have that talk with you?” Ann asked.
“She did,” Jaidu said.
“And you understand?”
“I think so. Things are just so different. I never know if what I’m doing is right or not.”
“Want to know a little secret? Whenever I go to a new place where things are different, I move a little slow. I wait a moment, so that those I’m with I move first and I followed their lead.”
“Is that how you do it?” Pt’this asked from the door.
The girls jumped. “You startled me,” Jaidu said.
“Jaidu, good morning. I didn’t see there,” Pt’this said.
“Why aren’t you in class?” Mishtali asked.
“They’re too far advanced for me. Master Elos said I’ll need private lessons to help me get caught up.”
“Lessons in what?” Mishtali asked.
“Dancing,” Jaidu said.
Mishtali smiled. “You happen to be in the presence of probably the two best dancers in the court. Ann and Pt’this could probably help you learn.”
Ann nodded. “Pt’this taught me to dance. He’s very good. I don’t know how good grandfather is though. I’ve never seen him dance.”
Mishtali growled good-naturedly. “I was talking about you.”
Ann shook her head. “I only look good because Andy’s still learning.”
“I’ve seen you dance with Pt’this. You do well with him too.”
Ann shrugged. “Pt’this is a good lead. That’s all.”
“You are a good dancer,” Pt’this said.
“We’ll teach you once we’re done here.” He told Jaidu.
“He won’t admit I’m not so great because he’s the one who taught me,” Ann whispered to Jaidu.
Pt’this growled. Ann raised her lip and said “Grrr.”
“Why don’t you growl?” Jaidu asked.
“I can’t in human form. I’m either human or dragon, not both. I don’t have a bellyfire, I can’t growl, or have claws in human form. They can transform just partway. I can’t.”
“Is that because you’re only half dragon?”
“Yes.” Ann nodded.
“Can we save the dragon lessons until later? She doesn’t even have her vial,” Mishtali said.
“You don’t? Nim didn’t give it to you?” Ann asked.
Jaidu shook her head. “Mother wanted me to wait. She said she’s too out of practice flying.”
“We’ll talk with her,” Ann said.
“You’ll talk with her. That woman has a temper,” Mishtali said.
Pt’this laughed. “So that’s where Ann gets it. Do you know how many times her temper has gotten her banned from the throne room?”
Mishtali eyed Ann.
“Not lately,” Ann said. “Most of those times Remtani was involved too.”
“Maybe half,” Pt’this said. “I was there.”
“Can we get on with this?” Mishtali said.
“Sure. Jaidu, why don’t you help me with the spell shield,” Ann suggested.
“Do you think I’m good enough?” Jaidu asked.
Ann nodded. “We’ll layer it just in case.”
“No other spells,” Mishtali said. “She doesn’t need to overdo it.”
“No, just the one. We need experience behind the others,” Ann agreed.
“You got Nim’s permission to do this, right?” Pt’this asked.
Ann nodded. “But, this is still my father’s house.”
“And he said to get Nim’s permission,” Pt’this said.
“I did. Nim said it was okay,” Ann said.
For the next few hours the three cast spell after spell to protect the room and its occupants from any possible attempt to spy. Jaidu’s spell shield held the whole time though was it taking a toll on her. They all checked her magic level frequently, not wanting to explain to Shay why she had ended up in a trance.
Mishtali was impressed with her control. “Not many beginners can hold a spell shield that long.”
“Shades. I know someone who couldn’t do it after seven years,” Pt’this said.
“Extenuating circumstances,” Ann said. “I wasn’t taught to use a shield plus I was ripped.”
“You had trouble even after your patch.”
“Would you two stop?” Mishtali said. “Tomin Mishtan, if you don’t stop picking on your niece, I’m going to tell the cook to put you on an all chicken diet for the next month.”
Pt’this cringed at his apprentice name. “Yes Sir.”
“And Narticani, if you don’t stop acting like an apprentice, I will tell Nimitinas you weren’t ready to be released and have him take you on again.”
Ann’s temper flared but she held her tongue. Having a temper tantrum would be exactly the behavior he was talking about, and Nim could and would recall her as an apprentice if Mishtali recommended it. “Yes Sir.”
“You two are setting a bad example for my daughter and I’m not going to put up with it. You’re both old enough to know better.”
“Yes, sir.” Both said.
“Now, let’s go see how Nim is doing and if Jo needs any help with him.”
Image Comments (5)
zaqxsw () 9:35AM | Wed, 09 June 2021
Nice installment... It's fun to see how they all interact with each other.
UteBigSmile () 3:27PM | Wed, 09 June 2021
Top writing and the related image looks very magical and well done too!