Chapter 28 – Playing Doctor
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The doctor slithered his way towards me. His tail was massive and I still could not see the end of it. He must have had it coiled up behind that table. Its overall color was bright pink but the scales formed black diamond patterns. The slime grew larger behind him.

His eyes took on a purple hue and he said in a proud tone, "I can tell you are going to be my best student yet. Now come along and I will impart my knowledge on to you." No compulsion came with his words and I would be damned if I was going to go anywhere near him. I cast a heal spell on him just to be sure but other than a diamond near his tail fading to a dark gray and a frown appearing on his face nothing else visible happened.

"Professor Zane please think about what you are doing. You are better than this." Bill's deep voice cut through the ambient noises and made the doctor pause.

"William, I am helping humanity. Surely you can see that my students are better than they were before," He paused and pointed at the now merged slime. Pointing at each head in turn he continued, "They were the bottom of the class and barely able to protect themselves but now look at them. They are STRONG!" he screamed out the last part and the diamonds on his tail pulsed and became even darker. The once faded scale became black again. "NO! You do not understand. How can you understand my genius? I will make you all better."

Bill shook his head and I saw a tear slide down his cheek before the anguish on his face was replaced by determination. Everybody began moving at the same time as if there was an invisible 'GO' sign. The professor came at me, Bill moved to intercept, the slime grew protrusions that waved about, and Phil threw the big seed into the slime.

I stepped back trying to keep my distance from him. I maneuvered myself closer to the cages, trying to decide if freeing them would help or hurt us in the combat. I cast another heal spell onto Professor Zane and the solitary scale dulled again.

I did not have to think long before an aura of darkness seeped off the professor. A black wave, that surfers would be proud of, manifested in front of him and came right at me. It went through one table as if the heavy medical object never existed and then continued on its course to me. It crashed into my aura and the bright golden hue dimmed a little as it deformed.

I felt pain deep inside me as if I was stabbed in my soul as the malevolent wave washed over me. My vision blacked out for a second and my aura reduced until it was just above my skin. It grew brighter as it constricted, and the pain receded as it did. Once the darkness dissipated, my aura seemed to snap back to its normal shape.

Gasping from the pain, I refocused and watched as Bill's hammer was caught by the doctor's lean hand as if it was swung by a small child. The same type of swing that cracked a giant monster's knee was stopped effortlessly. The only sign that there was any effort exerted was that the scales on the professor's tail dimmed briefly.

"William, why are you acting out? You were always a good student. Perhaps you need a time out," Doctor Zane seemed perplexed as he was talking and by the end he just pointed at Bill), then to the ceiling and just like that Bill was plastered to the ceiling immobile. His muscles bulged as he tried to push himself away but he was unable to make any progress.

Well crap! I dashed to the closest cage and pulling with all my strength, yanking the door off its hinges. It popped off surprisingly easy. So easy in fact, that the people inside should have been able to do it as well. A teenage boy stared at me briefly but (then gathered)gathering his wits and soon ran past me. He did not get far before he joined Bill on the ceiling. It was a jerk move on my part but I noticed that the professor's colorful tail always dimmed when he used his powers. The difference was not substantial however, the tail did not regain its normal glow from before immobilizing Bill.

While he was focused on the escaping student I moved to the next cage and yanked it open. This time a girl sat huddled at the back of the cage, unmoving. Trying to motivate her to move I hurriedly said, "He will probably kill you if you do not escape." Sadly, my motivational words just made her start shaking in fear and she began to sob.

Exasperated, I began to move to the next cage when darkness engulfed my aura once more without warning.  The pain came again but it did not last as long nor did my aura shrink as much. When I could move and see again the professor was moving across the room toward me. I noticed that Bill's movements became greater once the professor's attention was not on him.

Moving away as fast as possible I leaped over a table to get to the next cage to save time. I barely pulled the cage apart before a boy covered in scars burst out. A white and gray aura flared out in front of him but became distorted when it neared me. Little flashes of lightning could be seen within it as I heard him say "About time" before rushing at the professor. His aura returned to its original form as he moved away from me.

Shaking off the slight worry that the dark magic did something to me, I tore the door off the cage right next to me. Suddenly, I heard flesh hitting flesh and then screams of pain. Looking back I saw the boy's arms were now hanging at weird angles and then the girl that was too scared to move, ran for the door. Her sobs had become broken by hiccups which then became wails as she flew up to join the others.

The doctor's once bright pink tail was now faded and pale making the black diamonds on it stand out even more. He finally looked angry and was staring at me, unblinking. Yup, I have a way with people.  I did not have time to "motivate" the person in the cage as I watched him slither closer to me. His once pristine lab coat now had scorch marks and one of the pockets was ripped.

Without any weapon, I held onto the door of the cage I had just ripped off. I bent it a bit more so that it was more rectangular and squeezed the bottom to form a poor hand grip. I was anything but confident with my crude "weapon", however it was better than nothing.

I watched him closing in as I took a few practice swings. "You disrupted my class and I will make sure your punishment will be severe." The dark scales became even blacker as if the light around them was being repelled away. His hands began to change color to match his black scales and he quickly lurched forward to grab ahold of me).

He was faster than I expected. I felt his hands grab my arms before I even saw that he was before me. It was as if I blinked or lost time but judging from what was going on in the room I think he was just that fast. My arms felt like they were in a vise. His grip that started out strong began to weaken and the color in his hands became normal once again.

I began to struggle and shrugged him off easier than I expected. As soon as I broke free I hit him in the head with the now weirdly shaped 'club'. He raised his hand to catch it and I heard his fingers breaking as they connected.

I was unsure who was more shocked; him or me. I was already jerking it back because I had expected him to catch it like he did to Bill's war hammer and was thrown off balance from the lack of resistance. Stumbling, my back hit the cage and pain lanced up my back. A shrill cry came from within it. Seriously? Why would the person still be inside?

Shaking off the pain, I stabilized myself and raised my club again. The professor had not moved from where he had grabbed me. He just gawked at his now broken hand. "How? It should not be possible." His baffled voice could be heard.

I did not give him a chance to gather his wits as I moved back and hit him one more time. This time I aimed at his head and a bloody gash appeared causing him to wake up from his stupor and he backhanded me in return. I felt blood in my mouth and my cheek stung fiercely.

It turned into a slug fest as we exchanged poorly placed blows with each other. I felt like I was in a slap fight as it became obvious that he sucked as much as I did in combat. Minutes passed and I heard a couple of cries followed by thuds as the people that were held on the ceiling came crashing down. The professor's tail was now almost albino white, the black diamonds were all gray and his head was strangely shaped from being hit so often.

We were both battered and bruised and it was only a matter of time before one or both of us fell. I just kept up my onslaught, trading blow for blow. Cursing in my heart as I battled it out, while my allies did who knows what, I finally landed a blow to his temple and watched him crumple to the floor. I added a few more blows to make sure he stayed down.

I cast a 'Minor Heal' on myself and looked around. The slime that once covered the floor now looked like a raisin that had a tree growing through it. The skulls were in pieces. The branches going through them had seen to that. I was going to ask what we should do with the professor when Bill ended his existence with one hit from his hammer.

Quest Complete: Savior

Reward: Increase Aura Diameter, 1000 XP

*Level up*

*Level Up*

Congratulations: Unlocking Minor Advantage

Pick one:

I Like it When You're Rough! – Add in any damage you took prior to your last attack into your next magical or physical attack. Limited to within ten minutes prior to your attack, once per day

Is That All You Have? – Reduces damage to caster to only one fifth of their current hits no matter how much damage they would have taken. once per day

One more Round: Potions you drink have two times the effect and duration that they should have. Limited to three potions per day

Death is a Friend of Mine: The ability to pull somebody back from death itself. Limited to 3 minutes after death, once per day

Heaven's Wrath: Holy attack spells will cause max damage for five minutes, once per day

Time is of the Essence: Ability to cast three spells in place of one. Limited to spells cast within 3 minutes, once per day

Golden-haired Guardian: Everybody within your aura will benefit from any protection cast. Limited to spells cast within 2 minutes, usable once per day

All that Glitters: For five minutes any illusions under your aura will stop working, usable once per day

I've Seen Things: Improved health window; naturally detects any ailment you have seen before; from the flu to possession it will appear. Duration time will also be displayed for any effects detected both good and bad.

But I am not Left-Handed: You can use any weapon wielded in your right hand as if your weapon skill for that weapon is one level higher.

Messages sounded as Bill ended the doctor's life. I ignored them for now and focused on healing us up. The cold-blooded look in Bill's eyes made me shudder. I hoped I had that look that told of unimaginable killings like his did now. What happened to the tears he shed earlier? Which was the real him, this cold-blooded-kill look or the easy-go-lucky version I knew? I did not know and that bothered me.

I healed us up as best I could but could only do so much because my magic was running low. I started with the teen's arms that were at weird angles since I felt bad for using him as a distraction. I was really glad he lived through this mess. James and Lucas joined us while I was still healing. They were as banged up as we were and told us that they slew the "man" that was more monster than human and freed the nobles. They were waiting by the stairs with the others we freed from the tables. I went around to open the rest of the cages since nobody else seemed to want to.  They just stood around while I healed everybody not bothering to free anybody.

Exhausted, I just followed everybody up the stairs and through the swamp. I let the nobles fight the monsters that appeared. No giant island monsters appeared on our way back and what did was weak enough that they could easily handle them.

Once we made it outside, we were held and checked. They brought over that weird old man that I met on the trip here and I watched him bring out different types of stones that he used like metal detectors. I felt like I was about to board a plane as I was made to hold out my arms while he moved the stones around my body. He finally noticed who I was by the end of the check and he got excited to see me. "I have been looking for you. We should talk." He looked at all the kids around us, "Perhaps when we are not so busy. Just come to the medical department when you get a chance."

He left to continue checking students and from time to time he would frown, say something, and the kid would be pulled away to another location. I was free to leave but I waited until Bella was checked and allowed to come with me before departing. I waved at William and the rest and headed out to find Lilly. I took a few of the guards with me to collect the fake Gideon so I did not have to deal with him. They seemed eager to get this over with, so they did not give me any issues when I asked them for help.

I did see the real Gideon mixed in with the nobles but because of the charm magic my feelings were all messed up when I looked at him, so I left without saying hello. I do not even know if we ever really met or if it was Samuel in disguise the whole time. Not to mention that I like girls and any feeling I had for him were caused by the charm magic. I keep telling myself that and I felt a bit better.

***

"So you are saying her wings are not an enchanted item or a mutation and that she could wield 'Antithesis Metal' without weakening?" Lucas looked at William and stopped speaking.

"I saw you checking out her back when we were in the swamp. Did you see any item on her back? Other than a necklace and her cloak I do not see anything else that is enchanted on her. The fact that she can wield that metal should be a dead giveaway that she is related to your family. She could even cast magic while holding so much of it. So, who do you think had a bastard outside of the family without anybody knowing? She is obviously related. Even if she does not know what the wings mean you should."

"I thought she might have been a half-breed but even a harpy mix would not allow her to manifest the wings. If she is not a beastman and is not using enchantments or potions, then it does leave only one option. As to whose kid she is, I cannot even begin to guess. What really bothers me is that she is so powerful that she might be able to contend. Even if she is a girl it has happened before."

"I watched her fighting and she is not a threat in that regard." William's deep voice cut in. "I could not get too close to the fight because of the metal but nonetheless because she is ignorant about its effectiveness, she is unlikely to use it to her advantage."

"Ya but she is only a year one," Phil looked nervous. "Imagine what she could do once she has a few years under her belt. You should either make her an ally or deal with her before she becomes a threat."

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