Chapter 9: Caisen
“So after that, you can’t remember anything?”
“No it’s just like I see the figure, robes and coats and all, but the face is just a black space.”
The recovering Rachker is laying in his dedicated medical recovery bed. He appears to be recovering quickly. At this rate with some luck on the side, he should be back in service by the beginning of next week.
His arms are laying on top of the sheets pulled over his body. His hands twiddling with each other’s pointer fingers, around and around they rotate like they’re powering a water wheel rotation.
His sheets are coloured a clinical white along with his pillow and the walls of the medical building room.
I swear I’m the only sight of colour in this room with my black skin wearing a grey robe.
I’m sitting across from him in a black wooden chair with an attached cushion to sit on.
I’m slightly leaning against the back room wall opposite to the wall holding the door out of the room.
The room we’re sitting in makes me feel uneasy as if an illness is just waving in the breeze of the room, this is why I had to sit next to the window and open it. It feels like I’m getting stomach sickness from a rocking boat out at sea.
I was supposed to go to the hospital myself, but when I regained consciousness shortly after returning to the ground from my hovering magic, the Rachkers decided I didn’t need the help of the hospital. I was quite grateful.
The room is about three by three lengths in space. Not enough for comfortable living, but enough to recover.
“So you remember how he sounded, correct?”
“Yeah, sort of a mix of Pryia terminology with a Northern noble accent.”
“That...makes no sense. What type of terminology?”
“Referred to me as a friend, despite our obvious disagreements,” Sir Cal responded with a cheeky smile.
I smile, gladly noticing he has retained some sort of sense of humour.
“That’s very strange. Why would a noble become the Phoenix or even so adopt Pryian talk?”
“Bloodmage, I’m just telling you what I remembered. You were the one who came here with the questions.”
Sir Marc Cal is right, I had heard that a Rachker went into battle with the Phoenix and had survived to be able to tell the story. However, what I’ve found out is he isn’t able to tell the story because he’s lost his memory in regards to the appearance of the Phoenix. Marc Cal claims he saw the Phoenix’s face because he pulled his hood off. Yet, he isn’t able to remember what the face was.
“Let’s go back to what he said before you fell unconscious. Did you say that he yelled “Mind Snap” at you?”
“He yelled that and pushed out his blood covered hand.”
“He cut himself with some knife or needle looking thing, across his left hand. And then raised it up.”
“Mind Snap...where have I heard that phrase before?”
The Rachker just stares at me with a look that screams “What did I just say?”
“Oh wait I’ve got it! It’s manipulation magic. Not many bloodmages are capable of doing blood magic because it’s highly straining on your psychological health.”
“Bloodmage? Is it possible for someone to use blood magic with their own blood?”
“...there has only been one other bloodmage known to be able to use their own blood as a power source instead of purified blood.”
“As far as I know yes, he lives in the Luscieran Empire to the north-east of Caleria. His name is Lazlus, an old bloodmage who has been an expert in studying the secrets of blood magic. He spent years and years learning how to find alternative sources of usable power sources. He was able to find that he could use his own blood by cutting a wound into his skin and realising the blood. But even so, if he did a spell like Mind Snap, it would drain a lot of blood. Which should lead to him being hospitalised. So this Phoenix couldn’t be Lazlus. However, he could have been taught. The Luscieran Empire has traditionally not gotten on well with the Calerian Empire, so this Pryia revolution could be a proxy war with us.”
“Bloodmage, you saying things that mean a lot more to me when I’m in a more suitable condition, and as you can tell,” the injured Rachker says in a strained voice.
“Politics Sir Cal politics.”
“Right politics” Cal rolls his eyes.
I forget at times that the current Rachkers don’t correctly understand the politics of Caleria. It’ll be the downfall of this Empire if they don’t start educating their soldiers again.
When the current Generals pass away, and there’s a need for new ones, these Rachkers won’t cut it. It’s sad to say that despite his current state, Sir Marc Cal is the most intelligent Rachker I’ve met in the past few years. Sad, because he isn’t smart, just is for a Rachker.
I look at the confused man, his brownish blonde hair is short but long enough to flow down over his forehead. His pale skin seems camouflaged in the backgrounds of the plastered white walls. The sunlight blaring on him illuminates his face from the sweat it’s become drenched in from the heat.
Today is a uniquely hot day for this time of the year up here in the north.
I can tell me opening the window has helped his situation, but his face would beg to differ.
I get up out of my black wooden chair. It creaks loudly as I push myself out.
“Here let me wipe your face down.”
I grab a dry light brown rag that’s lying at my end of the hospice bed.
I walk around the back and the left side of the large bed to be able to reach Marc.
When I stop standing right in front of Marc, I notice his blue eyes looking up at me, emotionless. They tell me that he’s worried that the effects of the Mind Snap magic may have affected other areas of his memory, but if so he’ll never know.
I reach out with my hand holding the rag. I wipe it across his face a couple of times to ensure I’ve cleaned everywhere. The cloth makes scratching noises as it brushes by Cal’s blonde stubble.
He just smiles as he says “thank you Bloodmage Caisen.”
“You’re welcome, Sir Cal. By the way, before I leave, please let me know when you’re out of the hospital.”
“Because I would like to discuss with you further on the events that transpired yesterday. I’m sure the memories will return eventually.”
I can see in his sad eyes, a spark of hope and happiness. His memories may possibly return, time will only tell.
“Okay then, I’ll let you know. Goodbye Bloodmage”
“Goodbye Sir Cal”
I pat the recovering soldier’s right shoulder.
I turn around to walk out the room. I notice that the wall that holds the exit door also hangs a painting to the left of the door.
The painting visualises a scene of a bloody battle that must’ve taken place in history. I can identify plenty of Rachker like soldiers in the field of view contained in the painting. They’re wearing their greyscale dulled steel or iron armour plating covering most of their body. They’re fighting against less armoured units. However, there are more of the opposition, I’d count about 3 non Rachkers for each Rachkers. The opposition is dressed in casual working clothes like miner clothes, warm clothes, and lumbering clothes. It looks like the skirmish is taking place in the middle of a farm’s field, with growing pumpkin vines in the background along with a few cows that are white with black splotches.
It’s either of the Carllosis expansion of Calerian imperial borders or the Kartarkers revolution against the Carllosis.
The Carllosis Monarch was back in the OM period of Caleria, aka the Old Monarch. They have so far been the second ruling family in Caleria’s history. They came to power due to being the only legitimate cousins of the first Monarch family, the Ragenistars. The Ragenistars, which were during the AM period meaning Ancient Monarch, all died due to disease and tragedy. When all died, the closest cousins took the throne, the Carllosis House.
They were a tyrannical kingdom if anyone had ever seen one. But were a very expansive kingdom and brought much of the riches and land owned by the current Calerian Empire into its possession. Almost immediately after taking the throne, the Carllosises started wars with our neighbours and took their lands.
It’s partly due to this attitude Caleria had that caused much of the tension between Lusious and us.
The Carllosis House didn’t last long as a ruling family before the Kartarkers’ revolution began. The Kartakers were eventually successful after three years of war. They became what is now known as the current ruling Monarch during the NM period meaning New Monarch.
“Bloodmage, what are you looking at?”
“O-oh...urr...uh nothing, nothing at all. I was just thinking to myself. Goodbye Sir Cal”
I head for the front door. Once I approach it, I open the door and exit the whitewashed room.
Once outside, I close the room’s door and lean my back against the door gasping for air, that was awkward.
Two nurses, dressed in light brownish rag looking clothes with a few holes and rips in the bottom of it, walk past me smiling. The holes are most likely from all the sharp utensils they use in procedures.
I smile back at them to acknowledge their kind gesture.
Once they walk past me, I start to walk off following them to the left of the front door to reach the exit out of the medical building.
I make a sharp turn right changing my direction from the nurses in front of me who turn left. Before I follow completely through the corner to go down a large light brown brick and mortar corridor, I stare back at the Rachker’s room door.
The chances of us finding out who the Phoenix’s true identity is is with that one man. I must do whatever I can to unlock that chained up mind.