Dozens of riders on horseback and horses pulling carriages of people galloped straight out of the eastern gate and moved at rapid speeds towards the now downed caravan. Since it was unclear how many casualties there were, Yakkyoku Clinic had temporarily shut down and sent over ninety per cent of their available healers to the scene. Naturally, that meant that Shin and many of the apprentices were called in for duty, including Kesyl, who had experience with cleaning wounds and nursing.
The scent of spring was blocked by the incessant discharge of dust clouds formed by the horses’ rapid movements, making the trip towards the convoy somewhat suffocating. Long-time veterans such as the constables and the elder healers were able to withstand the constant emission of dust and smoke, but Shin and Kesyl were forced to use a handkerchief to cover their mouths.
“We’re here!!!” As the younger generation was trying to withstand the bumpy and uncomfortable ride, the carriage came to a sudden halt. A booming voice reverberated from one end of the transport to the other.
Dismounting from the carriage, Shin was slack-jawed. The usually plain and flat fields were now littered with large craters and destroyed vehicles. Carcasses of horses revealed horrific bite marks showed the viciousness that had fallen upon the poor inhabitants of the convoy. Fresh, flowing blood filled the entire road, making the place reek of death. Decapitated vicious Spirit Beasts could be seen lying about, hinting the hard-fought battle that the escorts of the convoy had put up.
Speaking of the human survivors, dozens of groaning bodies were lying about with constables trying their best with first aid. Dismembered arms and legs could be seen just centimetres away from their bodies as lumps of flesh were littered about. One could tell that the survivors had never experienced such pain before due to their endless tears and moans.
“*Blurrgghhh!!!*.” From the corner of his eyes, Shin could see Kesyl emptying out her stomach while attempting to keep her sanity. It was the first time someone like her had seen such a radical scene of carnage.
“Kesyl, have some water and take a short break to get accustomed to the environment. Don’t rush into it.” Shin warmly encouraged the weak little girl.
Shin was mostly unaffected by the scene due to his prior experience healing at Aldrich’s Keep. Back then, the total death tally and disgusting sights that he witnessed were much more horrendous than that of the current environment.
“I’m fine! Give me a few minutes!” Trying her best to recollect herself, Kesyl discharged her last amount of vomit before wiping her face. As an apprentice at Yakkyoku Clinic, it was unsightly for her to be taken aback by an attack scene.
“If you say so… Just don’t push yourself.” Leaving Kesyl to the care of her peers, Shin hurriedly moved to understand the severity of the situation.
“Healer Shin! You’re here!” A constable officer on stand-by called out to the black-haired youth. Shin was somewhat reputable amongst those from the Constable Headquarters. Not only was he a resident of Chilyoja Waypoint for four years, but he was also the former constable mascot, Junius’ ‘younger brother.’ There were many times where Junius would proudly introduce Shin to his colleagues, virtually allowing Shin to be recognisable by any constable in town.
“What happened here?” Before he could start treating patients, Shin wanted to know the full details of the attack.
“A trading caravan, that was carrying various spices and food items, from a nearby town was travelling to the waypoint when over a hundred beasts attacked them. The motivation behind the beast attack is unknown, but we assume that they were attracted by the scent of food. Although they had managed to kill off the majority of the beasts, nearly everyone in the convoy was injured. We arrived here and drove off the rest of the beasts, but we lack the ability to treat any of them.” The constable gave a rough breakdown of the situation to Shin.
“Okay, have you separated the severity levels?”
“Yes! Healer Rahwil came here a few minutes earlier than you guys and sorted them out.” The constable officer assured Shin of his worries.
“I see, if Senior Rahwil did it, it should be accurate. Alright, let me start treating some of them!”
Healer Rahwil was a senior Healer at the Spirit Lord realm that worked at Yakkyoku Clinic. Among the new hires that Mayor Nadeo had roped in, Healer Rahwil was unquestionably the most experienced and possibly even the most overqualified. The only reason why he agreed to work at the clinic was only that he hoped to have a chance to learn from Lady Seph in person.
Running over to the nearby survivors, Shin found the patients that he had the most confidence in treating. Closing his eyes, the young healer controlled his breathing as he gathered his mana. In less than a blink of an eye, a deep cerulean light emerged from the depths of his spiritual body. The Sovereign Koi, which had been resting peacefully in the vast lake that existed inside of Shin’s body, made its appearance once more.
About four years had passed since it was awakened during the Day of Spirits and it had grown significantly since. Initially, it was so tiny that a slight stomp might utterly devastate it and cause it to lose its life almost immediately. However, now it was over forty centimetres in length and had thick muscles all over its body. The most significant change wasn’t its size though. The Sovereign Koi had originally been entirely cerulean in colour, but now there was a tinge of gold all about its scaly exterior.
Flapping its fins in protest, as if annoyed that Shin had called it out from its happy slumber, The Sovereign Koi innocently glared at its master.
“Hey, don’t be like that. It’s time for work…” Shin was often baffled by how his Spirit varied from others. Standard Spirits don’t usually display signs of intelligence and develop personalities. The Sovereign Koi, on the other hand, seemed to break all kinds of stigma on how a Spirit should be. Thinking that it was just because The Sovereign Koi was part of the Eight Scions of Water, Shin simply brushed the matter off completely.
Using his first ability, Shin created a few litres of water just so that he could clean off the impurities that lay in the patient’s wound. Trying his hardest not to put the patient into any more harm, Shin quickly cleaned off many parts of the injured man’s wounds. Once he was satisfied, Shin created another vial of Healing Water and begun his treatment.
The sweaty face of the patient slowly turned calm and collected after a short period of time, indicating that Shin’s healing was starting to take effect. After ten minutes, the blood flowing from the patient’s wounds had ceased entirely, and his body was starting to function the way it was supposed to.
“Phew… Good thing we rushed here…” Taking a hard look around, Shin saw all of his peers trying their best to heal as many patients as they could. Thankfully, they had responded quickly. Otherwise, many of the injured might not have lived to see another day.
Now that his patient’s condition had stabilised, Shin moved on to the next available person. Once again, he repeated the steps. Cleaning the wounds, healing him up and finally, bandaging him. This time, the whole process took less than five minutes to complete as the patient’s wounds were less severe.
Bit by bit, Shin healed as many patients as he could and in the end, thirty minutes had passed since he had arrived on the scene.
“Hey, Healer Shin… Did you feel that?” As he was bandaging one of his patients, Kesyl, who was assisting Shin in his treatment, gave an ominous statement.
“Feel what?” Confused about what his junior was talking about, Shin tilted his head while continuing to treat his patient.
“I don’t know… Isn’t it like quieter now? Also, I felt a chilling aura…”
“Oh come on, it must be your imagination! Let’s focus on the task at hand.”
“No! I clearly felt something spooky! There! Here it is again!” Adamant that something awry was about to happen, the bobbed haired girl stood up in a hurry and glanced into the woodlands far away. As a member of the Duke’s family, she was taught to sense danger as her life was often targetted. Therefore, her instincts had been trained to a terrifying degree.
“Kesyl?” Finishing up his treatment, Shin stood up in the same manner as his junior and stared in the direction that she was looking at.
“*ROOOOAAAARRRR!!!*.” A frenzied howl bellowed out, stunning every single soul present.
“Damn it! They’re back, huh!!! Men, to your positions! Protect the healers and the injured at all costs!!!” Summoning out his Spirit, the constable officer barked out orders at his men.
It was a known fact that beasts liked to attack in packs as there was strength in numbers. In fact, there were often times where they attacked in waves to wear down their prey. Underestimating the drive of the hungry beasts, the constables were caught entirely off guard when they returned with reinforcements.
“What luck… We ran into a beast horde once more.” While the nurses and apprentices sent from Yakkyoku Clinic were panicking, Shin and the other experienced healers were as calm as a sea breeze. It was not their first times on a battlefield. Many of them even fought with beasts to protect their patients before.
“Kesyl, stay close to me. That way I can make sure that no beasts injure you…” Forming five water spheres that orbited around his body, Shin gently assured the alarmed girl. Over the years, when he was conducting his search for Junius, Shin had encountered various beasts. And every single time, using his own combat prowess, the Spirit Apostle had emerged victorious. Therefore, being stuck in a situation such as this was not entirely foreign to him.
“Thank you, Healer Shin! I’ll help too!” Kesyl summoned out her Spirit and readied herself for combat. Although she was still an apprentice, Kesyl was still a Spirit Apostle that had been trained in protecting herself. There was no way she would allow herself drag Shin down with her antics.
“Hah… What to do with you…” Shaking his head, Shin moved his focus to the dozens of Spirit Beasts charging his way. Making out the identity of the adversary that they were facing, Shin squinted his eyes.
“Grey Storm Wolves… So they were the ones who caused this carnage huh…”
Grey Storm Wolves. Spirit Beasts that are blessed in the element of wind. Alone, they were at most Tier 1 or 2 Spirit Beasts, but as a collective, they were far more dangerous than a regular Tier 4 Spirit Beast. The best way to deal with the overwhelming numbers that the pack of Grey Storm Wolves brought, was to separate them into individuals and take them down one by one. Knowing that fact, the constable officer had already instructed his subordinates to scatter as he was preparing a massively scaled ability that would spread the Grey Storm Wolves apart.
Waiting patiently for the beasts to arrive, Shin controlled his water spheres as masterfully as he could, with The Sovereign Koi spinning around in circles around his hand.
“Let’s do this!!!”