Book 3: Aldrich’s Keep || Chapter 39: Teardrops In The Rain (3)

After Commander Alwig had thrown all tactics into the wind and opted for a desperate, all-out assault, the number of warriors falling in battle just kept rising. Lady Seph was able to revive the majority of them using her supernatural ability that was Divine Rain, but there was a small portion of soldiers that slipped under the cracks and had to undergo specialised treatment. The medical bay, which was filled to the brim with patients lying on white linen sheets, had turned into a bustling area with robed healers desperately trying to treat as many people as they could.

“Senior Escred… Can I borrow a moment of your time?”

Apprehensively pulling the sleeves of the chief healer, Shin asked the hazel-haired man.

“Can’t you see that I’m… Oh! Shin! What do you need?”

At first, the frantic man, who was overworked, sharply snapped at the young voice that called for him. However, once he realised who the voice belonged to, a warm smile appeared on his fatigued and ghastly face.

“I want to help too! Please assign some patients to me!”

With Ariel by his side, the black-haired boy found the courage to speak his mind freely. Declaring that he would much rather be of assistance than an accessory, Shin shouted out loud.

“Oh! That’s great! We always appreciate a helping hand! Nurse Hannah!”

Logically speaking, since Shin was a young teenager and a guest of the Keep, he had no business meddling with the matters of the medical bay. In fact, even if he were to hide in one corner in fear of his life, no one in the Keep would blame him. After all, he was neither an enlisted healer nor was he a member of the army. Thus, the fact that he had volunteered his services in this time of crisis was something commendable.

“Healer Escred, you called?”

Rushing over to the mature man, a brunette lady huffed and puffed as she carried a chart filled with the names of the wounded. Shin and Ariel’s eyes contracted once they saw the familiar woman. Back when Shin came into the medical bay under Lady Seph’s instructions, the nurse standing in front of them had shooed them away like unwanted rodents in a kitchen.

“Nurse Hannah, Healer Shin here wants to help us treat some patients. Give him a brief overview of the situation and assign him some of the wounded, please. I have to get back to work.”

Leaving Shin and Ariel with the middle-aged woman, Escred rushed back to the side of his patient. Now that the medical bay was swamped, there was little time for chit-chat as freshly injured bodies were being delivered by the minute.

“Ermmm…”

“…”

An awkward air separated the two individuals. Ever since that day when Nurse Hannah chased Shin out of the white tent, the two had never talked and in general, left on bad terms. To be entirely fair for Nurse Hannah, she had never seen a healer that young before and thus, her mind automatically assumed that the boy was pulling a prank on her. Nonetheless, it was still true that she had shunned off the youngest healer in history who was also the disciple of the Keep’s saviour.

“Healer Shin! I’m sorry for my earlier impudence! Please accept my apology!”

“Eh?!”

Bowing down until her upper body was nearly parallel to the ground, Nurse Hannah issued a heartfelt offering of remorse, much to the black-haired youth’s surprise. Shin’s feelings towards the brunette lady weren’t anywhere near the level of hate. Although he felt annoyed when she had turned him away, that one time, he had never thought of exacting vengeance or forcing the woman to make amends.

“Nurse Hannah! You don’t have to do that! I’m not mad!”

“Truly?!”

“Yes! Please get up!”

All healers and nurses had to get approved by the Healer’s association before they could start practising their craft and back in the academy, the young head nurse had seen prideful talented youths that were unscrupulous in their actions and were basically tyrants in the making. Thankfully, Shin did not have the tendencies of those younglings that she had met back at the Association. Otherwise, it was highly likely that she would have been forced out of a job.

“Nurse Hannah… All I want is to help you guys treat some patients. Please be kind to me!”

As a rookie, the amount of knowledge that the black-haired youth knew about the medical bay was basically zero. He didn’t know what medicinal herbs were in the infirmary. He didn’t know how the shifts were structured. Essentially, everything that a healer needed to know about his workplace, Shin had no hint about. Therefore, it was important to befriend someone who could slowly explain everything to him and who better than the chief administrator herself?

“Hah… Thank you, Healer Shin. If that’s the case why don’t I stop wasting your time? For Healers, we would typically assign a station where you can treat as many patients as you want. Typically, there would be about four to eight beds per station, depending on the skill of the healer. How many beds do you think you would need?”

“Just the one will do! I’m well aware of my limitations. There’s no way for me to treat patients en masse!”

“I-I see…”

Not wanting to bite off more than he could chew, Shin requested that only one bed be added to his station. Every single patient in the medical bay had sustained severe injuries, and Shin knew that his level of expertise wasn’t up to par as compared to the other healers in the tent.

“If that’s the case, you can have this sheet over here! I’ll send some patients your way soon!”

Pointing to a nearby white linen sheet, Nurse Hannah gave the young boy a slight bow before running off to arrange the necessary equipment for Shin. Promptly arriving at his station, Shin took out a mana replenishment pill from his pocket and swallowed it in one gulp. Closing his eyes, he calmed his body down and allowed the cerulean light sleeping deep inside of him to appear in the world once more.

“…”

Finding a comfortable spot for herself, Ariel carried Bingbing off of Shin’s shoulders to allow him to concentrate on his task at hand. The snowy white gerbil was reluctant to part with the black-haired youth and even growled at Ariel when her hands went near. However, once it saw Shin’s solemn expression, although it was unwilling, it still allowed the snotty scarlet-haired brat to handle its body.

After one minute of meditation, The Sovereign Koi in Shin’s hands started to flap its fins wildly in joy as if it was finally being liberated. At that moment, Nurse Hannah returned with a bunch of medical equipment, and behind her, two hunky nurses carried a male soldier, who was in a coma, on a stretcher and gently hoisted him down to the bed that Shin was next to.

“Healer Shin?”

“Yeah, I’m here…”

Gingerly opening his eyes, the black-haired youth stared straight at the brunette lady considerably shaking her composure in the process. When the veteran nurse peered into the eyes of the young teen no more than half her age, she could sense infinite wisdom that was unbefitting of a person his age. Perhaps it was due to the presence of the legendary Spirit, but what Nurse Hannah felt at that moment could only be described as gazing into the vast universe itself.

“Describe his injuries.”

Three words. That was all Shin said to the nurse. However, that was all it took to convince the nurse that she was face-to-face with the real deal. It was not just his succinct words that moved the lady, but the manner in which Shin said it. At that very second, she felt like she was standing next to Lady Seph herself.

“Y-Yes! His chest had been impaled by a beast’s horn, and multiple of his ribs had been fractured. The tusk that he had been pierced by is still in his body as we feared that removing it prematurely would have caused severe blood loss.”

Turning his head slightly, Shin scanned the unconscious victim multiple times over. Using the database of knowledge that he had acquired over three years, the boy could tell within seconds the best way to treat a patient with his conditions.

“Good. Lay him down, I’ll handle the rest.”

“Are you sure?! Wouldn’t you need someone to help you pull out the horn?!”

“Don’t worry. I’ve got that covered.”

Uncorking the pearly white ceramic gourd labelled ‘One’, Shin brought out the highly mana-concentrated water that he had created and formed a transparent sphere that orbited around his body. From the flask labelled ‘Three’, he summoned out the Healing Water that he had created and formed yet another orb. This time, the sphere contained a slight hue of gold in its midst, drastically differentiating itself from the previous water globe that Shin had produced.

“Alright then…”

Signalling for the nurses to drop the patient on the bed, Nurse Hannah retreated from the scene and continued on with her administrative work. After all, she was not only the leader of all nurses but the organiser of work for the healers. However, every so often, her eyes would unconsciously gravitate to the black-haired youth, curious at how he was planning to treat his patient.

“Phew, thank god he’s not awake. Otherwise, getting him to quiet down from all the pain would prove to be hard work.”

Thanking his lucky stars that his first patient won’t be able to grumble to him about his treatment, Shin supplied a little more mana to the transparent water ball, and four tentacle-like objects came sprawling out like two pairs of spider legs and held the soldier in place. Once the man was tightly secured, from the centre of the water sphere, a fifth tentacle slowly crept its way to the thorn that was sticking out of the soldier’s chest. Behaving like how a human hand would, the tentacle rolled itself around the horn, and once it had a firm grip, it yanked as hard as it could to completely remove the thing sticking out of the man’s chest.

The surrounding onlookers, including Ariel and Nurse Hannah, were all flabbergasted after witnessing Shin’s methods. No one had expected that his manipulation of water had reached such a drastic level where he could easily create tentacles that could easily do the work of a few men by himself.

Thanks to the gentle nature of his water, the impaled object was effortlessly removed from the body of the soldier, causing crimson blood to come gushing out from his wound.

“Oh no, you don’t!”

Expecting that result, the Healing Water that he had on standby flew straight at the opened puncture and shimmered in a resplendent golden light. Finding his way inside of the soldier’s body, Shin used his Healing Water to locate all the possible injuries that Nurse Hannah had stated earlier. One by one, he treated everything. From the broken ribs to the damaged organs that resulted from the strike. Naturally, since the soldier was significantly injured, it had drained a large portion of his mana when he used ‘Heal’, but after seeing the colour coming back to his patient’s complexion, the black-haired boy flashed a wry smile before gently closing the wound with a bandage.

“This patient should be sufficiently treated. Nurse, could you send the next one?”

From start to finish, Shin barely took ten minutes, almost matching the pace set by the other healers in the camp. Of course, he lacked the mana to completely match the seasoned healers regarding stamina, but one additional patient healed meant one less person suffering in pain, and that was enough for the youth.

“Yes! Send the next patient!”

Nurse Hannah instructed her subordinates to carry the male soldier lying on the white linen sheets away while calling for another group of nurses to bring in the next victim of war. This time, it was a female archer that had her body burnt from the increased firepower of the beasts.

“Oh ho, this one’s going to be tricky…”

Letting out a dry smile as if he had found a new challenge, the young teen once again manipulated his two trusty fluids that were floating in mid-air and began his careful treatment.

~~~

An hour after he had appeared in the sick bay, Shin was currently on his fifth patient. The previous few people he treated, although tricky at first, once Shin got used to the idea that he could heal even the most horrendous of injuries, the young healer started to get into a groove. However, with each new patient occupying his bed, he began to feel the strains of mana fatigue as the spiritual energy in his body had started to run dry.

“Shin, are you okay?”

Ariel, who could sense even the slightest change in Shin’s expression, worriedly asked her childhood friend. Although she was proud of his accomplishments, she did not want him to eventually crash and burn.

“Yeah… I think I have enough mana for one more patient before I’m done for the day…”

Healing six patients in a day was not an accomplishment that could be bragged about for a standard military grade healer. However, if the healer was a recently promoted Spirit Apostle who had a meagre mana count to begin with, it was something worth commending.

“Alright, I’ll tell Nurse Hannah that when she comes with the next patient. For now, just recuperate your spiritual energy.”

“How are you faring, Healer Shin?”

Speaking of the devil, the brunette woman walked over to Shin’s station while he was busy bandaging up the last patient.

“Not that good… I’m sorry, Nurse Hannah. The next patient would be my last for today, at least until I recover a bit of my mana.”

“There’s no need to apologise! Just your willingness to help when we are severely understaffed is greatly appreciated! Not only that, you had perfectly treated five patients! Let me tell you a secret, after seeing your mystical methods, the other healers have doubled their efforts, not willing to lose out to you!”

“Is that so…”

“I never jest! Just look around! The patients are moving in and out of the ward at a much faster rate than before!”

Wiping his forehead full of sweat with the handkerchief that Ariel offered, Shin took a quick glance around the tent. Indeed, the healers and nurses had quickened their pace, and the patients were getting treated at a much faster rate.

“Oh look! Your next patient is here!”

At that moment, two nurses carried a haggard decrepit middle-aged man on a stretcher into the tent. The soldier had bruises all over his body with countless cuts and burns covering his charred skin. Coughing out ever so often, red viscous fluids spewed all over his muddied armour, further deepening its gruesome colour. Since the man’s head was obscured in a thick metal helmet, Shin couldn’t identify the man from his position, however, judging from the sounds of his coughs, he could tell that the man’s injuries weren’t light.

“Bua… ha… ha… ha… To think, that… you’re healing me… again!”

“You’re..! Senior Ronlen!”

When Shin was first turned away by Nurse Hannah, desperate to complete the assignment that his Master had bestowed on him, the young teen randomly selected a wounded soldier that had been lying still outside of the medical tent. Back then, he thought little of it and never in his wildest dreams would he have thought that he would treat the same man twice.

“Senior Ronlen! What happened to you?! How are you in this state?!”

Shin exclaimed in horror. The man was torn all over with every fibre of his body shattered. His eyes were bloodshot, and the cracked skin covering his skeleton was either burnt or punctured. It was no exaggeration to claim that he was the patient with the worst condition in the medical bay. And that was without examining the insides of his body.

“Everything… Boy… Can you… Fix me?”

“Please stop talking, Senior Ronlen! You would only worsen your condition!”

Struggling to even mouth out words, Ronlen collapsed on the white linen sheets laid out in front of Shin while bearing a hopeful smile.

“Come on boy… I have faith in you…”

Being the first patient to be treated by Shin in Aldrich’s Keep, Ronlen was well aware of the black-haired boy’s capabilities. In fact, he was confident that Shin was one of the best healers in the medical bay in spite of his young age.

“I’ll try my best…”

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