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Born to Survive

By TheShatteredRose

Romance / Action

Chapter 1

Lynus had been working on a theory.

After working countless days and nights at the hospital, he knew how critical it was for the medics and healers to diagnose a patient's injury and illness as quickly as possible. But with so many different possibilities for an ailing body to sort through, working from the most likely to the less likely and then the most severe to the less severe, it took time. And in some circumstances, time was something they couldn't afford. After all, there were so many ways for a person to become injured and ill in the labyrinth.

It was because of that Lynus had decided to expand his research. He had stumbled across a book that was dedicated to the meaning and healing of Chakra points. He had seen the word several times from reading his numerous books on crystals, but hadn't been able to learn much more on the subject. It was only by pure luck he came across a book from the hospital's library.

A quick read of the subject, Lynus realised that he had unknowingly been healing patients through the use of Chakra Wheels. Refresh was an overall useful healing aide, but it involved the entire body - physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. That was quite a lot for one spell.

But if his theory was right, he might be able to complete pin-point healing through the use of the Chakra points. He hoped that he could do was he was calling a 'sweep' over the patient by sorting through the Chakra Points. Each Chakra was connected to body and spirit, so each was connected to certain organs and emotions. Blockages or unbalances were a sign that something was not right within.

However, it was all theory. Nothing more. He hadn't had the courage to actually try it out. What if he was wrong? He could be placing someone's life in further danger.

Closing his book, Lynus lifted his arms over his head and stretched. Lowering his arms, he folded them over his stomach as he turned his head to look at the bed in the corner of the room. Lying on it, with his arms folded behind his head, dressed in casual clothing was Axel. His eyes were closed, he blissfully napping on such a nice day.

It was in these quiet moments that allowed Lynus to muse and reflect, about how far he had come and how lucky he was. Mostly, he thought about how utterly handsome Axel truly was. His messy red-hair suited his bronzed skin well, the muscles from every inch of his body was taut and powerful. Those arms…nothing could harm him whenever he was in those arms.

Those eyes…those lips…

He was pulled from his thoughts when Axel abruptly opened one of his eyes and immediately looked over at him. As a small smile appeared on his lips, Lynus felt a light blush adorn his cheeks. He, however, soon returned the smile.

He got caught looking.

"I thought you were sleeping," Lynus said as he pushed his chair away from his desk and stood up, walking the short distance to stand by Axel's bed.

"Hm?" Axel murmured as he reached out to snare Lynus' wrist in his hand and after a slight tug, pulled him onto the bed next to him. "I have been."

Lynus hummed lightly as he sunk down onto the bed and positioned himself so that he was half on the bed and half lying against Axel's strong chest. Axel's arms immediately wrapped themselves tightly around him, holding him close. Lynus ran a hand up along Axel's chest, along his collarbone before ghosting his fingertips against Axel's chin and then his lips, which promptly twitched into a knowing smile.

One of Axel's hands trailed slowly along Lynus' spine and along his shoulder blades before entangling his fingers into the orange strands of his hair. Axel's hand abruptly tightened and pulled Lynus' face toward his. Lynus parted his lips slightly as his eyes drifted shut. For a moment he felt Axel's heated breathed against his lips before he quickly closed the distance between them, kissing him.

The kiss was slow and explorative, simply enjoying the feel and sense of one another. It was equally warm and passionate, heated and tender.

The two, however, were pulled apart by a commotion in the lobby at the inn. They shared a brief look before turning their attentions to the door. Lynus could hear the voices of his guildmates, which surprised him as they had only left to investigate a rumour in the labyrinth a few hours ago. Something else must have happened. While he recognised the voices, all of them healthy and clear, there was also concern and confusion.

"Lynus!"

Whenever his name was shouted in such concern, it meant that one of their guildmates was in serious trouble.

Lynus quickly slid off the bed and instinctively reached for his medical bag. Just as he placed it on his shoulder and turned to leave the room, the door swung open to reveal a haggard looking Macerio.

"It's Tobyn," Macerio said, getting straight to the point as he all but pulled Lynus out of the room by his arm. "He can't move. He can barely speak."

As Lynus was pulled out of his room, he looked down the stairs to see Jhon carrying an unnervingly unresponsive Tobyn in his arms. Tobyn's long blond hair was draped over Jhon's arm, his legs and arms just as limp.

Lynus silently absorbed all the information Macerio prattled off to him, quickening his pace as he followed Jhon into his room, watching as he gently placed the unmoving blond-haired survivalist on the bed.

"Encounter with a FOE," Jhon explained hastily, trying hard not to panic in a well-meaning way. "No physical attack, it must have been a spell or curse. Or something."

Unresponsive from an unknown origin. Finding a diagnosis won't be easy.

Nodding his head and placing his bag at the foot of the bed, Lynus focused his attention on Tobyn, the slender survivalist looking unnervingly weak and frail upon the bed. Standing by his side, Lynus took a moment to simply gaze at his friend, noting that there was no strain or discomfort to visibly see. He was tense, yet unmoving. He couldn't see or sense any physical injuries, not even a possible puncture wound.

The first thing he thought to do was to offer some comfort to Tobyn, who of which had to be utterly terrified from not being able to move. Who wouldn't be?

Lynus placed his hand on Tobyn's forehead, pleased to see Tobyn peer up at him with his blue eyes. Although his face was free from any pain or tension, there was fear in his eyes. So, Lynus moved a little closer and gave him a warm, comforting smile.

"Tobyn, I'm here," Lynus said. "Can you tell me what happened?"

Tobyn swallowed thickly, as if it was difficult for him to do, before replying, "I-I'm not sure."

"Ok," Lynus immediately replied as he subconsciously ran his fingers reassuringly through his hair. "It's all right, I'll work it out. Don't worry."

He kept his hand on Tobyn's forehead as he ran over possible scenarios in his head. He was feeling a little lost, to be honest.

Lynus chewed on the inside of his mouth as he thought back to his previous research. Should he test his theory now? He had nothing else to go on...

"Tobyn, I'm going to try something," Lynus said as he leaned over the survivalist slightly, still gently touching his forehead with his hand as he spoke directly to him. "It won't hurt, but it might take a moment. Please wait for a bit longer."

Leaning back, Lynus then lifted his hands and held them up over Tobyn's prone form, not touching him. Everyone had remained thankfully quiet as he worked. He then closed his eyes and concentrated on Tobyn's aura. And there were seven distinct pinpoints of light, slowly spinning.

The first was a red light at the base of his spine. The Root. It was earthy and increased his sense of smell, and connected to the Endocrine Gland Adrenal. It was responsible for so many physical symptoms that he had to go through them one by one. He also careful navigated through the emotional symptoms. There were, however, no blockages to find here.

So, he moved onto the next, which was just under the navel. The Sacral. Orange, the symbol of Endocrine Gland Gonads. Nope, nothing here either.

One by one, he waded through the other wheels of light. Yellow, the Solar Plexus Chakra. Green, the Heart Chakra. Blue, the Throat Charka. Indigo, the Third-Eye Chakra. Nothing so far. Maybe his theory was wrong...

It wasn't until he reached the final white light, the Crown Chakra, that he came across the strong tang of something being off centre and unbalanced. There was a slight black spot, giving the indication that he had found the root cause. Searching further, he came to a conclusion.

Tobyn had been struck by a spell of some kind, and it was affecting his Crown Chakra and his nervous systems, causing paralysis in his skeletal muscles. The smooth and cardiac muscles were thankfully untouched. No wonder he wasn't able to move or respond to any stimuli. Pin-pointing this chakra point, linked in with his nervous system, Lynus should be able to use his refresh spell more potently.

He had better inform everyone of what he had learnt before he tried to offer any healing. He needed to prepare Tobyn for the treatment.

Opening his eyes, Lynus managed a small smile to Jhon and glanced over his shoulder to the group of concerned friends just outside the room, giving them all a small nod.

"You have a diagnosis?" Hamza asked him from the front of the group, his left hand idly toying with the sling holding his right arm.

"I believe so," Lynus said as he leaned over Tobyn again, resting his hand on his forehead to gently reassure him. He wanted to speak with Tobyn directly in order to ease his fears and unease.

"Tobyn? I think I may have found out what's wrong. It seems the spell is affecting your nervous system. Now, I may be able to treat you rather effectively, but I need you to relax. I can feel you tensing to try to move your limbs, but I'd rather not have you leap off the bed the moment your nervous system is restored. Do you understand?"

Tobyn swallowed thickly and gave a soft, breathy reply. "S-sure."

"Ok, good," Lynus said with a small smile. "Now, this shouldn't hurt, but there will be a sudden rush of energy and you may feel a hot flush, but that's a good thing."

Drawing a deep breath, Lynus raised his hands above Tobyn and he closed his eyes. He quickly located the blockage within the seventh chakra. Focusing on Tobyn's nervous system. A precise refresh should be enough.

As soon as the spell tumbled from Lynus's lips, Tobyn arched his back off the bed and he breathed out a loud breath. He then slumped onto the bed, his hand rising up to rest against his forehead as he sighed. "Shit..." he muttered, his reaction startling everyone.

Lynus lowered his hands as Tobyn rolled over onto his side, to the side of the bed that Jhon was standing next to. Immediately, Jhon lowered himself to his knees and placed a hand on Tobyn's shoulder. The look of utter relief on Jhon's face was palpable, his smile bright.

Lynus' own relief was just as strong. His theory seemed to have worked, thankfully.

Jhon grabbed Tobyn's hand when he made a motion of wanting to sit up. So, Lynus offered his arm, allowing the former paralysed patient to get a grip and heave himself into sitting position.

"Easy," Lynus said with a light smile. "How are you feeling now?"

Tobyn took a moment to consider himself. "I can feel everything," he said bluntly, utterly relieved.

"Good," Lynus smiled. "I want you to rest for the remainder of the day, just as a precaution. The paralysis won't happen again, I promise."

Knowing better than to argue, Tobyn nodded his head and ran his fingers through his hair.

"Thank you, Lynus," Jhon was the one to say to him as he kept his hand on Tobyn's shoulder to comfort the both of them.

Lynus, however, just smiled as he placed his bag upon his shoulder once more. "It's what I'm here for," he said. "No matter the type of injury or status effect, I will heal it. So no worrying about what ifs, ok?"

Jhon gave a half chuckle and nodded his head. "That really is reassuring to know."

"Tobyn, get some rest," Lynus said as he made his way over to the door. "I'll check up on the both of you, later."

"You've encountered this problem before?" Hamza asked him as Lynus stepped out of the room and into the hallway where the others were still gathered, more relaxed and comforted than they were before.

Lynus scratched his cheek as he gave a small smile. "No, first time."

Hamza looked interested in knowing more. "So how were you able to locate the root cause of his symptoms so quickly?"

"I've been working on a theory," Lynus explained. "By using a person's chakra points to pin-point a distinct symptom. As I said, it's a theory, so I haven't been able to put it into words at the moment."

Lynus then turned his attention back the Tobyn on the bed, giving him a sheepish, apologetic smile. "Sorry, Tobyn, I didn't mean to use you as a test subject."

"No, it's fine," Tobyn said before he flopped down onto the bed.

Lynus smiled softly and closed the door, allowing him some peace.

… … … … …

It was night when Tobyn ventured out of his room, feeling antsy to move abound under his own free will. He was still feeling twitchy, skittish. Lynus reassured him that he won't be becoming catatonic again any time soon, but he was still somewhat uneasy. Of all the things he had experienced, becoming totally paralysed had to be one of the more terrifying events. Not being able to move, barely able to speak…he wasn't even sure how long he could continue to breathe.

…He never wanted to experience anything like that again.

Folding his arms around himself, Tobyn began to idly wander around the inn.

Lynus had told him not to think about the little 'what ifs', but really, how could he not? What if he had stopped breathing? What if he was alone? What if the others of his party had gotten seriously hurt trying to come to his aid?

That last question haunted him more than any other. If he was alone, then it was his own fault. Only he would pay the consequences. As it should be. Survivalists were loners. They lived alone and preferred working alone. Survivalists should be alone.

But he was a part of a guild. A large guild. Filled with efficient and highly capable explorers. He wasn't allowed to be alone. Jhon won't let him.

Still…he wasn't used to the attention. Although he was surrounded by others, he found it hard to interact with them. They thankfully didn't push him, force him to become more social like so many others had tried when he was a child.

Tobyn was pulled from his thoughts when he bumped into someone, instantly gaining a squeaky apology.

He was somewhat surprised to find that Magnus was still up and about at this time of night. The blond-haired alchemist looked equally surprised, clutching his adopted kitten, Zanna, tighter against his chest. His surprise, however, soon shifted into concern as he looked at him with his big blue eyes.

"Ah, you're up," Magnus said as Zanna began to purr loudly in his arms. "W-we were just wondering how you were."

Tobyn shifted slightly on his feet in an effort to keep moving and to hide his discomfort. He didn't like people worrying about him. "I'm fine."

Magnus lifted Zanna a little higher against his chest, almost as if he wanted to hide behind her. "Ah, ok," he murmured in response.

"S-sorry for worrying you," Tobyn murmured as he tried to ignore the light flush appearing on his cheeks.

Magnus perked up slightly before nodding his head in soft relief. "Un," he said before a look of realisation appeared on his face. "Oh, ah, H-Hamza wanted to have a word with you when you're ready."

Tobyn had figured that he would, being his leader and all. "Right, sure. I'll go see him now."

"He's in the tea room," Magnus said as he readjusted his hold on Zanna and wandered off.

Folding his arms around himself again, Tobyn decided to go and see Hamza, to talk to him about what had happened.

"Ah, Tobyn," Hamza greeted the second Tobyn stepped into the tea room. The dark-haired war magus was sitting by an open window, a book resting on his lap, his right arm that had been heavily damaged during that 'incident' on the second floor resting in a sling.

"How are you feeling?" Hamza asked as he motioned for Tobyn to take a seat in front of him with his left hand.

Tobyn walked into the room and perched himself nervously on the edge of the seat, his arms still wrapped tightly around himself. "Better."

"You certainly look it," Hamza said with a nod of his head and a knowing smile. "You do look bothered by something, though," he added.

"…What would have happened if Lynus wasn't here?" Tobyn found himself asking.

"Hm…" Hamza hummed as he leaned back in his seat, his left hand unconsciously seeking out to touch his right arm. "Good question. I've asked that myself."

Tobyn glanced over to his arm before quickly looking away. "…His skills are amazing."

Hamza nodded his head with a knowing smile. "Indeed they are."

Tobyn unfolded his arms to run his hands down his legs in a fidgeting manner. "Should he continue going into the labyrinth?"

"Hm?"

"If something should happen…" Tobyn started to clarify before trailing off.

"I know what you are alluding to, Tobyn," Hamza said, thankfully catching on. "I've wondered that myself. If something terrible were to happen to him, we'd be lost. All of us, not just Axel."

"He would be safer outside the labyrinth," Tobyn said as he risked a quick glance over to the doorway to see if anyone was unintentionally eavesdropping before turning his attention back to Hamza. "But he's critical inside as well."

"He wouldn't allow us to forbid him from entering," Hamza added with a small smile. "He'd find his own way in, one way or another."

Tobyn couldn't argue with that. "…Yeah."

"We best keep this conversation to ourselves for now."

"Right."

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