Tale – Bedside Chat

“Sorry I’m so late!” Kayel gasped as he overshot the door and skidded past the entrance to Ksiel’s room. “Traffic was terrible!”

Ksiel tutted, not bothering to look up from his newspaper. “Always some sort of excuse with you.”

“It was though!” Kayel protested. He pulled up a chair and sat down next to Ayel and Zitel, who had both arrived earlier. “Some idiot decided to crash their vehicle and ended up closing lanes in both directions to and from the space port.”

Another tut. Ksiel clearly didn’t believe Kayel, but there was nothing Kayel could do. He was telling the truth. With a sigh, Kayel tried to think of something to say.

“They been treating you alright?”

More tutting. “Fuckers seem super hesitant doing anything with me. This former Ksa bullshit has ruined me.”

“I think it’s more the fact that you tried to stab yourself when you first woke up…” Zitel muttered under his breath.

“I was delirious!”

“Delirious people don’t try to stab themselves.”

Ksiel went back to tutting and reading his newspaper. In his arm were two cannulas, as well as one in his stomach. The arm tubes, one was a saline drip, one was some sort of pain killer. The stomach cannula was a liquid meal, by the looks of things.

“So you can’t eat?” Kayel asked hesitantly.

“Nope. No solid food for a week. Have to wait for my stomach acid to ‘regrow’. Bunch of bullshit. Then again, what can I expect, being the retard who tried to kill himself with fucking ibuprofen and paracetamol. I deserve this.”

Kayel sunk in his chair. Everything he’d said so far had done nothing but irritate Ksiel. He wanted to get back on his good side. Really, Kayel blamed himself for Ksiel’s suicide attempt, the same way he blamed himself for what happened to Veeyel.

“Stop blaming yourself!” Ksiel suddenly snapped, making everyone else in the room jump. “I was the idiot who attempted suicide, not you. If anything, you’re the smart one, Kayel…”

“What do you mean?” Kayel was confused. His heart was also racing, he really hadn’t expected Ksiel to shout.

“You got out before everyone else could.”

“You mean I technically committed treason, almost successfully committed suicide and now live in the Thanatian wilderness as a wandering mage?”

Ksiel nodded. “The path may have been bad, but the end result has been good, yes?”

Zitel blinked. “Are you suggesting that you want to go and live in the Thanatian wilderness?”

“I am,” Ksiel smiled weakly. “After all, my failed attempt made me realise I was looking to the wrong family this entire time. I looked to other Rethans. Other Rethans could not give two shits about us. Never will. Veeyel though said something about us being family, and he is right… That reminds me… Kayel, can you heal Veeyel with your magic?”

Kayel hesitated. “I… I’m not sure.”

“Can you do a better job than the medics here have?”

“They’re good medics, Ksiel,” Ayel butted in. He had been silent until now, but Ksiel was clearly talking nonsense. Whether it was the painkillers or not, he didn’t know, but Ksiel’s ramblings were making Ayel nervous. “They surely know what they’re doing.”

“I want Kayel to answer,” Ksiel grunted. “He’s a mage. He’s THE Mage. The only living Rethan capable of using magic. Not just any magic though. Healing magic. Zoimancy.”

“Actually… it’s necromancy…” Kayel whispered. “And I’m just the only Rethan capable of innately learning magic. Anyone could learn it if they dedicated a few years to Thrakian Mageia…”

Ksiel’s smile only grew. “So answer the question. Could you make Veeyel walk again?”

Kayel looked away as he tried to form an answer. “Theoretically… I could… But it would be temporary. A few hours at most. If we were to go down the magic route, our best bet would be to use magic to… buff Veeyel’s own in-built telekinisis, so he can effortlessly carry himself.”

“Hm…” Ksiel fell silent. He was clearly thinking. Ayel was giving Kayel a “please stop” look, but Ksiel’s rambling had caught Zitel’s attention.

“How hard is it to get a Thanatian ID?” Zitel asked, before realising that he’d accidentally said that out loud.

Kayel shrugged. “Pretty easy, honestly.”

“This is dumb!” Ayel suddenly shouted. “We can’t just ditch our lives and go and live as Thanatians!”

“Well, we could…” Zitel suggested. “It’s not like any of us have jobs or anything now.”

Ayel fell silent. He didn’t have any counter-arguments outside of “This is stupid and I don’t like it.” He looked at Kayel, then at Zitel, then he stared at Ksiel.

“Maybe it’s worth discussing with the rest of the L-Class…” Ayel finally sighed.