[Use my blood for this.] I said in a confident tone.
[What?] Eirlathion jumped as soon as he heard that. [Asaren!]
I turned a hard expression toward him. [We need him to know exactly what we are capable of if we want him to work hard as an ally.] I told him. He didn’t look happy with that explanation, but he still swallowed back whatever complaints he may have had.
His complaints were not unwarranted. It is true I really did not understand the value of the power that my blood seemed to have in this world, but I did have something of an idea about it. If what I saw about the kinds of things people would do for the power that Levin and Rolwen had was any indication, I imagined it would have to be several times greater once this guy gets a taste of Tia’s healing empowered by my blood.
I am going to have to be very careful about how I act for the next few hours. Just in case, I should probably act a bit cold and distant toward everyone other than Tia.
Tia made a quick assessment of some sort and then bit down a lot harder on my arm than she had while healing Eirlathion before. I cringed in pain and had to hold my arm low once she finished in order to avoid the still flowing blood getting on my white clothing.
She hastily spit out the blood into her hands and then presented them to me. I dipped a finger from my good arm into the small pool of my own blood and then sucked it off my finger. After this, I did my best to wipe my other hand clean of blood now that the wound had completely healed.
[My sister heals using blood.] I explained to the man. [My own blood is some of the most potent for this effect. You will be getting special treatment since you are going to say good things about us. You are going to get to feel the full power of what we can do for a person.]
[You…] The man stared at us with huge bulging eyes. [Were you two previously children of Lahamu?] He asked.
I did not know the name he just said, but I had no doubt it was another one of the 11 greater gods. However, it seemed fairly clear that he was terrified of the prospect of this even being possible, and the thing that lead him to this conclusion had something to do with this blood healing ability.
[Neither me or my sister have any memory of the Lahamu you are speaking of. However, Eirlathion says that we seem to have a memory of the past life that is similar to that of the average fairies and that it is not usually complete. If you think that might be true, then it might be for good reason.] I said, picking my words carefully to dance around the true answer which would be a flat ‘no.’
I wanted to keep that ‘no’ on the table to use for later, specifically for Eirlathion’s benefit. Who knows. If him and mother were not here, I very well might have given a positive answer to that question. At the very least I might have said something along the lines of ‘could be,’ but really, who knows?
For some reason, what I just said seemed to terrify the man even more. He also seemed to be suspicious of the blood Tia was approaching him with.
[Drink it.] I told him. [I do not know if you have another way of getting that arm back, but that ice also did a lot of damage. A lot more than I thought. You might not survive when the ice thaws.]
He stared down at the blood again and hesitated. He looked like he had a question on his mind he was actively struggling with.
[It does not have the poison of Lahamu on it.] Eirlathion said. [They had me drink some of it a while back in order to recover from a severe chest injury. My spirit was overwhelmed by the power in it, but it did not infect me with the madness of Lahamu. You do not need to be concerned about that.]
[You speak the truth?] The man asked in a shaky voice as he looked up at Eirlathion.
[Yeah, I saw him drink it.] Rolwen said as he nervously stepped forward.
The man took another good hard long look at the blood Tia was presenting in her hands. He let out a long shaky breath.
[Very well.] He said and then bent himself down to accept the blood. Tia lifted her hands and pushed her finger tips into his mouth as she poured the blood past his lips. The man’s throat worked hard to swallow the substance, and then suddenly I saw his whole body stiffen up.
[Gu-hurk!] The man gasped. His one remaining hand flew to the frozen stump of a shoulder and then he started letting out a low pained scream. Somehow, the magic Tia had woven also managed to rapidly thaw the ice, and blood soon started dripping from the stump where the arm used to be. A moment later, new flesh began growing down. That flesh started to bend as it formed an elbow joint, and then it grew further eventually separating into fingers.
Those fingers quickly gained definition, and the man let out a relieved [Gah!] as he let out a breath he must have been holding for a while.
“Damn it! Cut me in on the loop here people! What’s going on? Is this guy safe now?” Mr. Adderson started yelling as he kept holding onto the man’s shoulder.
“Should be!” I shouted back.
“Are you SURE?” He asked and then looked over to Rolwen. “Are YOU sure!” He said.
“Y-yeah. I think so.” Rolwen said.
“Fuck.” Mr. Adderson cussed and then released his grip and stepped away.
As soon as Mr. Adderson cleared the way, almost as though that was the only thing holding him up, the man slumped over to the side while holding his arms around his stomach region. [Grr…. gaaaaaa!] He grunted and yelled some very distressed sounds as he pressed his own head into the dirt.
“Wow! Is he alright? Just what did you do!” Mr. Adderson demanded.
“It seems like this is normal when my blood is used for Tia’s healing spell.” I told him. “Tia. Do you think he will need any assistance?”
She looked at the man with an assessing gaze. She had her blood-soaked hands clamped into something of a prayer position near her neck and she seemed to be fidgeting a lot.
“I… think he might be alright. His spirit is a lot stronger than Eirlathion’s was.”
[Umm… Tia… should you help him?] Eirlathion suddenly asked the exact same question she just got done answering in English.
[No!] She said, sounding a lot more certain as she replied in Elven. [He has a spirit that can handle the burden. I believe he would appreciate it more if he were given the chance to absorb it all.]
Absorb it all, huh? [How long will that take? We will not be able to wait the several hours it took for Eirlathion.] I asked.
[It… it should not be a problem.] Eirlathion said. [If it is anything like it was for me, the energy from the blood of Asaren should bind to the spirit without aid or direction. In fact, it desires to do only this. No matter how hard I tried to direct that energy toward my spells, it refused to heed me. The only reason it took me so long after I had noticed this was because I had a lot to think about.]
He took a long and hard look at the great faery currently writhing in agony on the ground. [It is probably a good thing this man swore that oath. If this strengthens him in the way I think it might, we will need to impress upon him how much harm it could bring to you if word got out about you having this ability.]
“Alright, alright, you’re all talking without me again. What’s up here?” Mr. Adderson cut in. Eirlathion flinched and quickly withdrew from the conversation upon realizing I was being angrily addressed by the man he seemed to revere as the most superior person here.
Rolwen immediately volunteered to fill Mr. Adderson in by way of stepping forward with a serious look on his face. Suddenly in a crisp military demeanor that seemed completely out of place in his tiny body, he addressed the visibly older former soldier.
“We got some good information out of him and he volunteered to help us. He then swore some kind of binding oath that Eirlathion assures us is impossible for a fey to go against. After that, Tiaren healed him using Asaren’s blood. Asaren’s blood is far more potent and it seems like it increases a fey’s power somehow. This guy is currently experiencing some kind of discomfort from the power-up.
“From what Eirlathion has told us, we do not have to worry about him turning on us now after he swore that oath. The content of the oath was…”
He went on to fill Mr. Adderson in on the specifics of the two oaths in a direct and to-the-point manner. After which Mr. Adderson just nodded.
“Right, so I guess this is dealt with for now.” He said and then his eyes narrowed on me. “As for you, I think there’s something you ain’t telling us about. What was all that KGB shake-down stuff just now! You’ve definitely got some extra training you didn’t fill us in on. We ain’t on Earth any more. So, spill. What is it? CIA? Or were you some foreign spy? Did she fill you in on anything? Yeah, that’s right. You DID say she’s good at intelligence, didn’t you? What’d she tell you?” He suddenly turned to Rolwen.
“Well, umm… she…” He stammered and looked at me as though for permission.
“Go ahead.” I told him.
“Well, she said she trained in the real historical Ninjutsu. But, uhh… she said it was just like some historical preservation of the art and that she wasn’t a real ninja.”
“Pffft! Yeah, right, sure. Ninjas. You believed that crap excuse for a cover story, huh?” Mr. Adderson scoffed. “That weren’t the work of no ninja wannabe learning pretend stuff for a hobby. That was a cold professional interrogator at work, and so far as I know those kinds of tactics are against the rules of engagement in the good old USA, although I’m sure those rules are only for the guys on the ground. Them spooks have been playin by different rules since they were first founded.”
“Well, Ninjas is the only explanation you’re going to get out of me.” I said. “I will add though that it wasn’t any pretend nonsense stuff. I was learning the real original ninjutsu, which might even be said to be the original version of what the various intelligence agencies around the world later became. You can choose whether to believe me or not when I say I’m not with any country’s agency. If it makes you feel better though, I will especially emphasis that I’m not CIA.”
“Yeah, that’s just what a CIA spook would say.” Mr. Adderson grumbled. “Fine, whatever. It’s better for my peace of mind if I just believe you.”
“Uhh… but what I wanna know is why’d you shoot.” Rolwen said. “That guy and Mr. Adderson were just staring at each other, then the moment that guy moved you just shot at him.”
“Huh? What are you talking about?” I asked.
“Heh” Mr. Adderson scoffed and sent a quick surly glair over at the crumpled over and still groaning fairy. “Guess that bastard must have been cutting you two out of the loop.”
“No, that’s not it.” Tia jumped into the conversation. “You were talking with your spirits. Humans normally can’t hear spirit voices. You have to be able to absorb spirit energy to understand it, so fey are probably the only ones who can hear it without any kind of special training.”
“Well, that blows.” Mr. Adderson said.
“Yeah.” I agreed. Great. Another form of communication that a portion of our party is unable to use. Looks like we’ve got some kind of language Venn diagram going, and now me and Tia are the only ones capable of understanding all three languages in play here.
Well, I guess that means there’s only one solution. “Mr. Adderson, as soon as we get out of this forest we are definitely going to have to teach you to speak Elven.”
“Hmph. Yeah, fine. Also, just saying, you better be sticking to that Mr. Adderson stuff ‘till you’re ready to tell more about where you got your training.” He said.
Well, I guess it’s really going to be just Mr. Adderson for a while then. At least until he has seen enough to believe me.