Shin uncorked the white ceramic gourd labelled ‘three’ that was resting on his belt, filling the air with a sweet floral smell. Bringing his right hand to his waist, the boy gathered his mana and directed the clear transparent water out from the gourd. The Healing Water glistened brightly as the glare from the sun made contact with it, causing those who were near to squint.
“You will feel a stinging pain, please bear with it.”
Looking at the haggard soldier, Shin smiled while directing his Healing Water towards him.
“Buahahaha! I am no stranger to pain! Go ahead!”
Although the warrior did not really think that Shin could heal him, he decided to humour the little boy. Taking off his shirt entirely, he revealed every single wound that he had sustained in that battle. Minor cuts and grazes were littered all over his torso, and his limbs had small patches of black, indicating the bruised areas. Of course, the most critical injury was still the cut he gained at the centre of his abdomen. Naturally, Shin had removed the carefully placed bandage before beginning his treatment.
As the Healing Water made contact with the wound, the injured soldier started to groan in pain. However, since he was a veteran when it came to injuries, he sat firmly, not swaying around in the least. Shin was taken aback by the soldier’s tolerance to pain. He was wholly aware of the type of pain his patient was going through. To come out of it with just a soft groan was quite remarkable.
Once the liquid had thoroughly covered the wound, a cerulean light was emitted out. The soldier, who had been bearing incredible amounts of pain, started to feel his head becoming light-headed as if he was in the clouds. The stinging anguish that he felt was replaced with a refreshing feeling on his chest. Closing his eyes, his mind cleared, and he entered into a trance state, surrendering total control of his body to the black-haired teen.
Beads of sweat started falling down Shin’s forehead as he directed all of his attention on the open wound. Mana began to flow out from his body like an open tap causing his spiritual energy to deplete rather quickly. However, his efforts were not without any rewards, the open wound on the soldier’s chest started to close rapidly, like a clam closing its mouth. It took a while, but eventually, the injury disappeared from the warrior’s body, as if it wasn’t there in the first place.
Cutting off the mana supply, Shin dropped the Healing Water that had been contaminated with the soldier’s blood and fell onto his bum. It was the first time he healed someone other than himself or his Master. Thankfully, he had done it well. Ariel, noticing that Shin was sweating like a pig, pulled out her handkerchief and wiped off his excess perspiration with a jubilant smile. It was the first time she had seen Shin in action, and she was not disappointed. Taking less than a minute, he managed to fully mend the broken-down soldier and did it without any issues.
“Hmmm? What?! It’s over?!”
Waking up from his stupor, the soldier patted himself all over to find out that the cut that was on his chest had disappeared like magic. With great shock, he gawked at the young black-haired teen who was taking a rest on the floor.
“Y-you… You’re really a healer?!”
The soldier’s fingers quivered, half in excitement, half in disbelief as he pointed at Shin. He had made fun of the boy when he first offered to treat him and to be honest no one could blame him. Just imagine if a young teen came up to you and claimed to be a healer when all the other healers were at least ten years older than him. Even the most experienced of men would be sceptical of the boy.
“That’s what I told you…”
“Wait, wait, wait… How old are you?!”
The warrior remembered he heard a tale where healers were able to revert back to a younger age using one of their spiritual abilities. Perhaps, the boy sitting in front of him was one such healer.
“I’m turning thirteen this year. Why? Is something wrong?”
Unsure of why his patient was asking those questions, Shin tilted his head in confusion.
“THIRTEEN?! Oh my god! What the hell?!”
All of the healers that the soldier knew were all in their late twenties to their early thirties. Never had he heard of a teenager learning the ‘Heal’ ability. The soldier’s screams attracted the gazes of all nearby patients, lying nearby while waiting for their turn to enter the medical tent. Curious about the commotion, a few of them walked towards the Shin.
“Ronlen, what’s going on?”
One of those in the crowd recognised the injured soldier and asked for what happened.
“This boy, he healed me of my wound!”
“He healed you? This boy?”
“Yeah, he did!”
“No way, Ronlen are you drunk? He’s not even an adult, how could he be a healer?”
“Hmph! Why don’t you try it then?!”
As usual, Shin’s age made everyone doubt that he genuinely was a healer. After a short period of rest, the black-haired teen recovered his bearings and stood up to address the crowd.
“Wait, Shin. Shouldn’t you be resting after that?”
Before he could say a word though, Ariel butted in, worried that Shin might overextend himself and collapse.
“No worries, healing that soldier only depleted a fifth of my mana reserves. I can still treat more people.”
‘Heal’ was an extremely mana expensive ability. Shin had just recently promoted to the Spirit Apostle realm. Thus, he had to use that ability sparingly. Reassuring his concerned childhood friend, Shin tapped her shoulders to indicate that he was alright. Glancing around, the young healer scanned for his next patient. Since his mana was limited, he might as well treat the more severe injuries first. Noticing a young woman lying flat on the sheets while clutching her stomach, Shin moved forward.
“Okay, that’s one more down…”
While Shin was busy healing Ronlen outside, inside the pristine medical tent, ten individuals, all donned in pure white gowns bearing the mark of the Healing Association, were hard at work treating their patients. Multiple patients inside the tent required immediate medical attention. Thus, none of the healers had any spare time in their hands.
“Healer Escred, thanks for the good work! After the next patient, the remainder of the soldiers all have light injuries, so there’s no need to push yourself too much.”
Sitting on top of a portable chair, a mature hazel brown-haired man rubbed the edges of his chiselled cheeks while letting a yawn go. At his side, a brunette woman, who held onto a chart put forth a warm smile while addressing the man. As the head nurse, she was the moral support of both the patients and the healers present. Thus, she had to ensure that the healers were not overworked to the point of exhaustion.
“Nurse Hannah, this is nothing compared to the sacrifice that our soldiers gave for the safety of Aldrich’s Keep. Furthermore, as a healer, it is my responsibility to aid any patients that walk through that door.”
Standing up from his chair, he grabbed the chart away from the woman’s hands and started to read from it.
“Hah… If only the crisis didn’t come at such an unfortunate time. We hardly have enough healers!”
There were always ten healers stationed on Aldrich’s Keep, and since the fort only sees action during the purge that happens every ten years, it caused a significant problem for the healers in the keep. They were currently severely short-handed. Typically, when the purge was nearing, the Himmel Empire would pay the Healer’s Association to send more doctors to the Keep. However, since the upcoming purge was so unexpected, they lacked the time or the resources to get external help.
“There’s no helping it. We have to make do with what we have. Oh yeah, nurse Hannah. Just now, you were shouting at two young kids. What happened?”
Seeing that the conversation had taken a downturn, Escred opted to change the topic lest their moods worsen.
“Hmmm? Oh, that! Get this, that black-haired boy claimed to be a healer and wanted to assist you guys in treating the patients. What a joke right?!”
Recalling her previous interaction with Shin and Ariel, nurse Hannah scoffed in displeasure. Her image of Shin still remained as the boy who wanted to show off to his girlfriend.
“That young kid was a healer? That would be highly unlikely…”
Hearing the outlandish tale, Escred fell deep into thought.
‘That being said, the number of healers has been diminishing for a while. Hah, is there a way to get younger Spirit Users more interested in the path of healing?’
Back when he reported to the Healer’s Association a few years ago, Escred wandered through the hallways and barely saw any new and young faces. The path of a healer was an unpopular one. Many youths in their adolescent years would look down on healers and would instead train for the path of a warrior or any other profession causing there to be a severe deficit of talented Spirit Users to join their ranks. It was a problem identified by the Healer’s Association many years ago, and they have tried multiple measures to help rectify this issue. However, none of their attempts worked as the number of healer apprentices kept dwindling.
“Haha, youth… Anyway, I should get back to work. There are still so many patients waiting quietly outside.”
“Right, right! I shall leave you be then!”
Bowing down to Escred, nurse Hannah backed away to check on another healer in the tent. However, at this time…
Loud screams of admiration from the outside echoed into the medical tent, causing all the healers to lose their concentration. Turning their heads to the entrance, all the nurses and healers wondered what had happened.
“Something is happening outside?”
Escred, who was nearest to the exit, briskly walked forward to see what the commotion was about. Exiting the tent, he saw a crowd of soldiers all clustered together in a doughnut shape, as if there was some sort of show in the middle.
“What’s going on here?”
“Healer Escred! Come and see! Apparently, there’s this super young healer here that is tending to our injuries!”
One random soldier replied the hazel-coloured haired man.
“Young healer? Could it be?”
Pushing through the crowd, Escred attempted to get a good view of the mysterious young teenager; and he wasn’t disappointed. Sitting down next to a sleeping woman warrior with an exposed stomach, a black-haired boy was controlling a small amount of water while covering her wound.
“Is he washing her injury? No, wait! That ability is!”
At that moment, a bright cerulean light illuminated the area, blinding those who were too close to Shin and his patient. The woman, who was in agony, seemed to have brightened up as her complexion recovered. The wound that had plagued her for so long had all but vanished, leaving behind her smooth and white belly.
“Did he really just cast ‘Heal?!’”
Escred’s jaw dropped at the sight of Shin successfully treating the injured woman lying on the floor. He of all people knew how difficult it was to learn the esteemed ability. Not only must one possess the right Spirit, but they must also read towers of books to even get close to comprehending the ability. Escred himself took over a decade in an apprenticeship before he was qualified to learn ‘Heal’ and yet this young teenager did it like it was nothing.
“What the hell is that boy?!”