Eirciel gazed upon the fallen elf and the wreckage in the forest around her. She clenched her fists and glared at the other Thornspeakers, picking up the woman, she was tall, but so were Kul’Tirans, two of the men picked her up. Her teacher, Aron, stepped up beside her. “What troubles you?”

“Why are we saving her? She…caused all this. She was trying to save a thrall of the witches…it’s stupidity.”

He inclined his head. “Why, yes, I do agree that drawing this much attention to oneself is foolish to a point….” Aron looked between his apprentice and the Night elf. “But there is something to be said…for wanting to save a life instead of taking it.”

“There’s nothing to left to be saved. The coven is….”

“You’re letting your past get in the way of seeing the benefits you can learn from others.” Aron stepped forward and followed the group. Eirciel jogged to keep up.

“I can’t learn anything from her.”

Aron smiled at his student and patted her on the back. “Oh, good. You’ll be her caretaker until she is well…then…I may consider asking her to take you on for a year.”

She stared at him. “No. You wouldn’t.”

“If your past is going to hold you back here, I would rather you see a different path.” Aron walked forward, leaving Eirciel standing in the trees.

—–

Auris ate the fourth bowl of soup since her visit, this one was cold, lumps of deer meat and something soggy that looked like chunks of bread floated inside of it. Each time the woman, Eirciel, would check over Auris’ bandages, her eyes narrowed in anger, when finished, would stomp out of the cavern silently.

She hobbled out of the cavern, holding onto the wall. The scene of a group of Thornspeakers, druids, she supposed were at practice. Eirciel was among them, panting and sweating over a task of healing. The subject in question had a gash down the side of his leg. Auris watched the skin beginning to knit itself back together, her caretaker scowled as the healing stopped and the energy slipped from her grasp.

Aron, Auris had heard his name called before, stepped forward and began to mend the leg in the woman’s place. Eirciel continued to scowl and her face reddened as the healed man walked away.

“She will never learn like that.” Auris hobbled forward again until she reached the two.

Aron tilted his head in thought and Eirciel turned her eyes on Auris, hateful, again. “If you’re such a good healer, why don’t you heal yourself faster and go back to where you belong.”

“Ciel! I am sorry for my student’s rudeness. Auris, is it?” Aron caught the younger woman’s arm as she began to walk away.

“Yes, Auris Rainewind, of the Cenarion Circle…I was sent to investigate Drustvar as a whole. I am not the only one, but…I prefer to remain away from faction conflicts, so this became my main mission.” Her throat tightened, thinking of Teldrassil. Aron was quick, he caught her slip in demeanor.

“You mean you don’t trust your judgment at the moment to be involved.”

Auris decided she liked this man. “Correct. I…prefer to only use my talents with as clear a mind as possible. Hatred and rage make that difficult.”

He nodded, considering her. “I am Aron, of the Thornspeakers, we practice the old ways here. It seems…you do as well. Quite…well. I’ve heard your race is long-lived. May I ask how long you have practiced your art?”

Eirciel was quiet through all this, she twisted her red hair around her fingers, doing her best to avoid Auris’ gaze. “Not at all. A bit over nine thousand years. Although, I will admit to my training being lacking through-out periods of this time. Female druids were not as common…to begin with. But I had the affinity for connecting with nature, there were those willing to teach me.”

Aron burst into laughter. “And to think you look quite young. Yes, I think…you will be good for us. Perhaps good for Ciel as well.”

Auris managed a smile. “I am not very old, physically, no. Of course our aging is different now…that, too, is a long story if you have not heard it. If I do not die in a battle…I have a long while left.”

“Great, the bitch is never going to get better, or die.” Eirciel mumbled, just loud enough for Auris to hear.

“I have sensitive ears, child. Perhaps you would like to speak a bit louder for those without?”

The woman stiffened, and her mouth closed tight.

Auris looked to Aron whom watched this exchange silently. “I am well on the way to recovering. I am hoping to learn more about you here…and I owe you for helping me. I would be glad to help Eirciel with her training. She can use me as her patient.”

“I think that is a wonderful idea, if you’re willing of course.” Aron grinned at his student and reached out his hand to Auris.

Auris shook his hand and returned the smile. “Shall we start now? I have some helpful observations about your technique.”

Eirciel stared at Auris. “I don’t need help from you.”

“That is quite interesting. I have been observing you for days. And I think your teacher does a wonderful job of helping you, and guiding you in combat training. But you make the same mistake in healing each time.”

“And what is that?” Her tone was flat.

“Quite simple, you are impatient, you are forcing too much power at once from the world around you and losing control of it. You need focus. You need patience, and you need to deepen your connection to the natural world. Or, you will end up killing yourself or the person you are trying to heal someday.” Auris watched the woman for her reaction.

Eirciel rolled her eyes. “Right. Sure. That’s why you’d volunteer yourself. Because I might kill you. Aron, you can’t be serious, letting this idiot try to teach me anything.”

“Ciel, you will not speak to her like that! Laundry duty.”

Auris held up her hand. Everything still hurt. “Thank you, Aron, but that will not be necessary. I can handle myself. Besides, I am the one in bandages and she is not, I see her point. I was foolish.”

Aron nodded and turned to walk away. “I leave her in your hands, let me know if you need anything.”

“How about we start over, Eirciel, I am Auris Rainewind. I will be teaching you to heal with greater effectiveness. Please sit.” Auris sat on the ground and patted a patch of grass before her.

Eirciel grudgingly sat. “I’m only doing this for Aron.”

Auris nodded. “For now, that is acceptable. Let us begin.” 

Author Robin
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