Chapter 47 - Shot Heard Around The World (4)
Aundell kept looking at him and giggling as she poured her magic over his wounds. Alex couldn’t even pretend he wasn’t awed by her ability. It would have taken four or five MAGES an entire day to do what she was in a single sitting. The giggling was throwing him for a loop after his last two interactions, however. And it seemed he wasn’t the only one.
“Is something funny about him being in this condition, dragon?”
Aundell shook her head and giggled some more. She started removing bandages from areas that were fully healed, her eyes lingering on Alex’s musculature beneath.
“Just remembering, is all.”
“Did I look funny, or something? I’m guessing you’re talking about that incident…”
“Funny? Oh, not at all! In fact, I thought you looked rather dashing, husband. Oh, just thinking about it… I wanted to you to throw me down and-“
“Whoa, there! Simmer down, girlfriend. I think he’s made it clear that he’s not interested. Just do your job, will ya?” ALICE interjected once more.
This brought another, breathier laugh from Aundell’s lips, and her hair bounced beneath her large horns.
“But he was so wonderful! That strength… Just imagine the children I could bear with that power!”
“Aaaaand, that’s enough of that! Thanks, Aundell, but I think I’m good enough now that you can return to helping the villagers. Won’t do to waste all your mana on me, now would it?”
Alex was hurriedly grabbing her hands and removing them from his body. She wasn’t even pretending to be healing him anymore. She was just getting handsy at this point. She pouted and whined like a kicked puppy as she slowly stood up.
“Oh, if you insist, hubby, dear. Come find me if you need someone to wipe the sweat from your-“
Aundell finally walked from the room at ALICE’s order, laughing all the while. Alex shuddered and shook his head as he removed his covers and sat up fully. There was still some soreness, but the majority of the pain had disappeared.
“That woman has a screw loose, I think.”
“You’re saying that like this entire crew you’ve assembled isn’t the same.”
“Come on now. There was one who was at least mostly sane.”
He reached for his gear and began putting it on as ALICE replied.
“There’s a good chance you won’t be able to find her. She’s got a decent head start on you. And even if you do, I doubt you’re gonna be able to convince her to come back.”
“I know. But just like any of my joes, I won’t leave a comrade behind. I have to at least try.”
She was quiet until he was fully kitted out once more. As he was lifting her to clip her sling to his vest, she finally answered.
“Just don’t get your hopes up, ’kay?”
He loaded a single bullet and began pouring in magic as he walked outside of the small house and into the burnt shell of a village.
“What have they done to you?”
Alex’s mother reached out to him, tears in her eyes. This was their first time meeting in three years.
Since he had joined the MAGES program.
“They made me strong, ma. They gave me the skills I need to protect you and everyone else.”
“Your hair… Your eyes… They were your father’s eyes, Alex!”
Alex frowned as he tried to figure out what to say to his mother about his appearance.
‘Some things just can’t be expressed, soldier.’
“You raised me to do anything and everything I could, ma. Remember? Well, this is me doing that and more. Next is…”
‘Sure you should tell her?’
He struggled to get the words out through the lump in his throat.
“I’m heading overseas in a week. Dunno if you heard, but there’s a war on.”
His mother started to cry, but not from his declaration. A few other civilians standing around the baggage carousel at the airport were talking just loud enough to be heard while staring in his direction.
“What a disgusting freak! It’s no wonder they call them ‘demons’.”
Quinn watched Alex fire his rifle and he looked over at Celia meaningfully.
“Will you follow him?”
She shook her head, smiling softly. She was playing with some children, keeping them occupied while the adults worked on repairing the village.
“I know what will happen. Though, I say that you should go with him. He will need you, once he finds Treya.”
Quinn looked back at Alex as he left the village, following some invisible trail. Without another word, he began walking after the soldier.