One of Tristain’s arms was mix of colors: a deep blue, black, and purple. He also had a decent sized bump on the back side of his head. Lilia frowned at her missing arm, but it was slowly growing back. Her other arm had been missing a hand, but that had already regrown. Her feet took root in the ground and some of the roots snaked into the now dead bear.
“Food, listen next time. Erm, Mika, listen next time. If you had stayed down, we could have done this better.” Lilia chided me.
“Uh, Thank you.” I would have died to that bear had she and Tristain not been there. I can’t say I’ve forgiven her for nearly eating me multiple times now, but it did seem that she had priorities. I bowed me head a bit in thanks.
“You sap, don’t be so worrisome, give me a hug!” That was an odd request, but one from my savior, so I didn’t think I had much right to refuse. I cautiously walked up to Lilia, and hugged her, being careful to avoid her not-fully-restored arm.
She whispered in my ear. “I’ve seen wounds that bad before, Food, make sure he doesn’t die. I don’t want to eat you as much as I want him to keep feeding me. Take care of him, I don’t know how to help… I’m different after all.” She kissed my cheek and smiled at me, a genuine smile. Not those mischievous ones Tristain has. “Please?”
Aside from the very distressing way she asked, and my self loathing for just being a go-between for the two of them, I didn’t have much of a reason to refuse her. Again, she did just save my life.
The real problem was that I didn’t know how to help him. Either way, I couldn’t do nothing, so I walked over to see how he was faring. “Uh, how is your arm?” I looked it over. It was somewhat misshapen. Particularly the upper arm seemed like it had an extra joint. He was cradling it.
“Ah, hah, well, it’s pretty obviously broken. I think if I can get a splint made, and reset the bone, it will heal. But I am definitely not going to be doing much heavy lifting for a while.” He was sweating, and winced every time he accidentally jostled his arm.
“Uh, I don’t know how to reset a bone, and I don’t know how to make a splint. Can I help somehow?” Worst case, I could have him share with me a memory, but most of his memories were so bizarre, I’m not sure I would understand anyways. He may also may not be in a condition to focus well enough anyways.
“Yeah, uh, get a bunch of very straight and strong sticks, the length of my forearm would be best. As strong and straight as possible.” I looked around us, not seeing many straight sticks at all.
Lilia must have noticed my plight, because she motioned me over. “Here. If it helps, I grow fast. Food Source is Tristain after all.”
I think she got that backwards, but I took the branches that came out of her healing arm. They were perfectly straight, about a thumb width wide, and didn’t bow the slightest under pressure. “Thank you.”
After bringing them back to Tristain, he guided me through making a splint and sling for his arm using the sticks and some more of the bear fur sliced into strips. I carefully helped him lay him down on the ground, with the splint in place under his injured arm. The splint was still unwrapped, and his arm still appeared to have an extra joint.
Looking up, I saw Lilia staring down at us, watching our progress.
“Tristain, Food Source, I am fixed, can I help? I am also hungry.” Her face was impassive. Didn’t she just eat all the blood from that bear?
“Ah, actually, yeah, this is going to suck because none of us have medical experience. But I had a thought. Your vines are really strong, and you can make them small, and still feel through them, right?” He forced a smile at us.
“Yes, I can feel with them, and they are much stronger than your fingers.” She nodded.
“My bone is broke. Like one of your branches, it’s broke in two parts. We need to put those parts together so they heal properly. Problem is, they are under my skin, and we can’t see there. I was thinking, since I don’t have any way to see an x-ray scan, and none of us are doctors, what if you puncture a few small holes around the wound, and find the bones, and put them back together?”
What?! Is he mad? Aside from the obvious where she eats people, specifically their blood, where she will be in direct contact with, he wants her to injure him further?
Before I could voice any concerns in my stunned state, Lilia responded quite cheerfully. “I would do anything to help you out!” Her hand became a mass of vines quickly, and wrapped itself around Tristain’s bruised arm.
“Hold on a moment though, I need to calm myself down, it’s going to hurt a lot. Even if I scream, don’t stop until it’s done. Whoooooo, okay, do it.” He clenched his teeth hard, and flexed his free arm.
And did he ever yell loud. The operation only took a short moments, after which Lilia retracted her vines, but his yell lasted a while longer. There were four neat and very small punctures on his arm, which was now straight. They oozed a small amount of blood, but otherwise looked hardly noticeable with the amount of bruising.
“Okay, just tie up the splint and sling, and we should be good to go.”
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