Twice Upon A Sword

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Chapter 33- Breathe for Me

--Vincenzo POV--

It was all my fault.

Alpheus and Conrad got away after Conrad had set off the poisonous gas bomb and if it weren’t for Nora who had put a protective barrier around everyone in the area, then we would all have died.

We were currently in Alistair’s estate since Nora wasn’t in a good enough condition to travel but I sent Don and three of my men to search around the area for Alpheus and Conrad but as of yet, we still haven’t found them.

Nora was a mage but her body was the same as humans, only more evolved.

The bullets that were in her were forcefully taken out of her as a defence mechanism in her body. It was quite a shocking sight to see but I was grateful for it nonetheless.

She was still losing blood though and her body was burning up with a fever, her face scrunched up in pain and every few minutes she would thrash around in pain as if she were having a nightmare and I have never felt so useless before.

I went to sit on the bed beside her body, on the opposite side that the doctor was on, and reached my hand out to caress her cheek with the back of my hand.

“Wake up, Nora,” I whispered painfully.

“Um...” The man nervously called for my attention.

“What? Think smartly about your words before you speak,” I warned and he winced.

“I-I won’t be able to save her-” I lunged forward, arms outstretched and ready to throttle him but Silas was quick to pull me away.

“Let the poor man finish his sentence before you jump, brother,” With a groan, I pushed out of his hold and nodded my head once for the man to elaborate.

“She-She’s going to need surgery and more blood, if she loses anymore then she’ll die. Her body seems unable to fully heal her after it got rid of the bullets,”

“Let’s trust him, Enzo. Alistair said that he’s the best doctor in the city,”

“This city isn’t even a quarter the size of Lazarus, it’s not very assuring,” I scoffed and they both flinched back. “Get the best doctor in all of Lysandra. She will not die,” I glowered at my brother and he sighed, massaging his temples.

“That’s not going to be possible,” He stoically said.

“What?” I clenched my teeth, daring him to say that again.

“It’ll take up to a day or two for the best doctor to arrive here, I don’t think Eleanora has that much time. In that time, this doctor might be able to save her,”

“I don’t want a might, brother. I want certainty,” I stepped towards him and glared.

“I will not lose her,” I said.

His lips quivered in what was supposed to be a smile. “Is this funny to you?” Not once have I ever been this mad at him before.

“I find it admirable on how much you cherish her,” I paused.

“One chance... If anything goes wrong then I will have your head,” I spun around and spat at the doctor who quickly nodded his head and dipped down into a deep bow.

“I will quickly assemble my team and prep her for surgery,” With an angry huff, I spun around and walked onto the balcony. Leaning forward on the railing, I ran a few fingers through my hair, breathing in some much needed fresh air.

For a moment, still in my hunched position, I turned to look at Nora who was still lying in the centre of the bed, her skin paler than the white stone statues of her.

It was such a cruel sight to see.

The next few days were pure torture.

The operation lasted far longer than I would have expected and by the time it was over, I was seconds away from losing my mind.

They said she should regain consciousness soon but it’s been an entire day since the operation was over and she hasn’t moved at all.

Fortunately, she didn’t look to be in as much pain as she was before. Her face was no longer pale and her breathing had become regular but the fever was being bipolar, going up then down only to go up again.

I was impatiently tapping my foot against the floorboard, leaning against the wall on the side of the room with crossed arms to stay out of the running doctor’s way.

The best doctor in all of Lysandra came a few hours ago and she was currently looking over Nora but as of yet, she’s not done anything useful.

After all of this is over, I’ll make sure to keep a constant medic by her side.

“It’s not good, her fever’s going up again,” The doctor checked her temperature before throwing the thermometer away and patting Nora’s face with a wet towel.

“Can’t you do anything about it?” I asked as calmly as I could, approaching them.

“If her fever goes up again then I’m not sure if she’ll survive it again,” My ears perked at her words and I felt my vision tremble in fear.

“Then do something about it!? What should I do?” She seemed hesitant.

“For now, we should submerge her in cool water. We have to keep her body cold for the fever to go,” I looked at Nora and beads of sweat were glistening on her forehead, mixed with the water from the wet rag.

“Let’s go then, what are you waiting for?” I picked her frail body up, already heading to the ensuite bathroom and shouted at some maids to come and fill the tub with cold water.

Submerging her in, half of my own body got soaked to the core but I didn’t pay attention and helped the maids add the ice to the tub.

She stayed in there, me not leaving her side once, for the next few hours until her fever had finally gone. Her clothes and hair were sticking to her body due to the water and if not for the fact that she was in a terrible state of health, I would have done something un-gentlemanly.

The next day she was fading in and out of consciousness. Her eyes would open for a few seconds before drifting close again and every time it happened I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Charlotte came the day after that with her husband and a large, rusty book in her hands and she had dragged me away from Nora’s side, forcing me to shower and eat some proper food. Wanting to get it over and done with, I did as told.

Lucien, Charlotte’s husband, used the kitchen to put his patissier skills to use and made some sweets for us to eat and despite the wonderful taste, I simply wasn’t in the mood.

Currently, I was sat on a stool beside Nora’s bed, holding her hands in mine and yawned.

Charlotte pranced into the room, the large book in her hands, just as I was about to fall asleep. “What do you want?” I grumbled, rubbing at the tiredness in my eyes.

“I have some information,”

“What information?” I sat up as she went to sit on one of the couches near the fireplace and placed the book on the table in front of her, flicking it open until she stopped on the designated page.

“About Nora. I found this book in that secret passage you guys were in. It’s not a secret anymore but that’s not the point... this book is filled with information on mages and you’re lucky that my curiosity found it,”

“Get to the point, sister,” I grumbled, falling forward on the bed with another yawn.

“I think it was written by Nora in Atticus’s time. She wrote this book for him to learn more about her. It’s really cool. This book has so much information about mages, it’s baffling,”

“When will you tell me the information? Next year?” I turned my head around to glare at her and with a wave of her hands, she dismissed my sour mood.

“Well, for starters- It says here that mages have a certain amount of energy stored in their body, they can use that energy to do a lot of different things, whether to make it rain, make plants grow or even tame wild animals,” She spoke and I finally started listening.

“Eleanora’s a stronger mage than average because her energy-saving levels are higher, meaning she can use more magic for a longer amount of time,”

I nodded to show that I understood and she went back to reading through the book.

“A mage should never overuse their power. If they feel their body is getting tired, it’s a sign that their energy level is running out and that they should stop and rest. If they still push on after that, their life will quickly become endangered,”

“That’s how a lot of mages died when Andreas fell,” She added.

“How do their energy levels go up?”

“Simply resting, eating, sleeping. Like that,” I hummed, nodding for her to carry on.

“And well, from what you told me that happened with Alpheus and that so-called mad scientist, it would seem that Eleanora pushed her body passed the limits and ended up endangering her life by trying to save everyone else’s,”

She stopped and read through a few more sentences. While she did that, I was cursing myself for being such a reckless fool.

“Why would you try so hard to be a hero?” I whispered out so my sister wouldn’t hear.

“Also...” Charlotte began speaking again and I turned to hear.

“She was using up too much energy at once. Her body’s natural instinct is to protect itself... so after she was shot, her magic was going to heal her. It was more difficult than usual since it didn’t know what it was dealing with, bullets-”

I paused, thinking back to the moment where she had asked what it was. Right, she wouldn’t know what a gun is, that made sense.

Damn it.

I moved forward, frustrated with myself and face planted on the covers, cursing myself.

“To add to that, instead of letting her body heal, she was focusing on using her magic to save you lot instead of herself and as a result, she ended up using too much energy. It would seem that when she lost consciousness, her body simply tried to get rid of the foreign object, the bullets and succeeded in doing so but failed to stop the blood from running since she didn’t have enough energy left after that,”

“Basically, if it weren’t for Eleanora, you all would be dead right now... but don’t worry, she won’t die,” She said with so much certainty, I was left confused.

“For as long as she stays connected to the sword, it won’t let her die... She’ll just be forced to go through indecipherable pain, both physical and mental,”

Charlotte slapped the book shut and left it on the table, coming to kiss my cheek then leaned down to kiss Nora’s.

“She’ll be fine, brother. We all know how amazing she is,” She encouragingly said before leaving me to my moping and left the room.

“I only hope you’re right,” I whispered out.

I brushed her golden locks back and leaned down to place a light kiss on her forehead.

“Please don’t go away,”

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