A Sneak Preview Of His Latest Adventures For The Lucky Student By Donald “Lightning Pants” Drake
The next volume of The Adventures Of ‘Doc’ Swanson, Combat Healer is on it’s way! We have been given access to this exclusive preview!
First came “A Witch Too Far”!
Then “Saving Shaman Ryan”!
Now “From Czocha With Love”!
Soon available in all major magical bookstores!
Reserve your copy now!
Crouching behind a rock, I desperately poured more pixie dust on young Johnson’s heart chakra, trying to ignore the curses whizzing past us. Dammit, I didn’t even know his astrological sign, and there wasn’t time to do an aura reading here. As my protective circle barely deflected an incoming fireball, I realised I would have to improvise something in the next few seconds or lose him. What he really needed was a full thaumaturgic infusion, but the ritual to gather the required energy would take at least 10 minutes - and Johnson clearly didn’t have that long. Energy… Energy! Suddenly I knew how to get the energy. It would be dangerous, sure, but it was the only way.
While I took off my boot, I concentrated on the channels I would need to form - once the show began, there would be little time for fine tuning. I placed my naked foot on his forehead, finding the third eye chakra with my big toe. Taking a deep breath, I stood up, in clear view of the enemy. The first blast hit me within seconds, but I was ready for it. Instead of deflecting it, I absorbed it, capturing it and keeping it in. I would only be able to hold it briefly, but it should be enough. The second one nearly caught me by surprise. It was much stronger, and I could barely contain it - my chest was about to explode and I could see steam and smoke rising from my robes.
The pain was excruciating, but I clenched my fists and willed the energy down, down through the channel I had built, shaping and reforming it on the way. Fortunately, the third curse missed me - I would not have been able to handle it, had it not. Finally, I got the energy under so much control that it would not kill, and with a grunt, I let it stream into the kid. He screamed and jerked, as I, exhausted and barely conscious, collapsed on top of him, just in time to dodge another blast zipping through the air where I had just stood.
He would live. And eventually, he might even forgive me for having an imprint of my big toe permanently burned into his forehead.
I was running, even before the scream had died away. Pushing my comrades aside, I sped along the jungle path, until I reached the place where de Cruz lay crumbled on the ground. Liselle stood next to her, fanning her wand back and forth, letting white flames wash over a blackened, footlong shape, that was already burned to cinders. She kept going, cursing, while I bent over de Cruz. It didn’t look good.
“What happened?” I asked.
“That thing there! It dropped from the tree, landed on her shoulder and stung her before I could get it off!”
Liselle, apparently satisfied that the sooty remains were no longer a threat, let the flame die away.
“Yes, but what was it? A bird? A snake? A humanoid? What did it look like?”
Treating a patient, when you don’t know what hurt her, is a bit like duelling blindfolded - impressive, exciting and unlikely to do much good.
“Well, it was a bit like a scorpion…, I didn’t see it that well, I just grabbed it and threw it, just as it was about to sting her in the neck!”
I was about to give her an earful, but thought better of it - Liselle had after all probably just saved her best friends life by unhesitatingly grabbing an unknown creature with her bare hands. Looking closer at de Cruz, I realised that the effort might have been in vain. Her heart was racing, and her breathing was shallow, as she stared at me. No sign of fear in her eyes though, not de Cruz.
“Can you fix me, Doc?”
“Sure, no problem, just relax”
We both knew that was a lie. Damn, I wish I knew what had stung her, but the creature was burned beyond recognition. I took my wand and dissolved her robes, allowing me access to the wound on her right shoulder. It looked narrow, deep and discoloured - probably poisoned. I drew out a crystal and placed it on her solar plexus. It flared yellow, but then quickly faded and turned grey, confirming my worst fear. I looked closer and sure enough, there, 5 inches further down was another, almost unnoticeable wound. And something much worse.
I had not even noticed Frederick, my apprentice, kneeling next to me before he asked me for instructions. The rest of the group had formed a protective circle around us, wands out, facing outwards. They occasionally glanced at us, but never let their guard down. Noticing that de Cruz had passed out, I quickly explained: “She was stung by a Gwerhindor. You may know them as Gnaw Worms. It has injected its inch-long larvae, which is even now burrowing towards her heart. If you look closely, you can see it moving under the skin right here, near her collarbone”. Frederick immediately pointed his wand, preparing an Extracto, but I stopped him.
“The larvae is extremely poisonous and rather brittle - you would most likely burst it trying to get out, and that would surely kill her. We can freeze the flesh, that would slow it down. Temporarily. But it can hear her heart and is going for it”. Freddy, ever quick on the uptake, smiled, pointed his wand at her heart and went “Silentia”. The movement of the larvae under her skin stopped. Clever lad - there’s a reason I chose him as my apprentice. But then it started again, slower, but still moving towards the heart.
However, he had given me an idea.
“Fred, place her right hand on your naked chest over your heart!” I pointed my wand at his heart: “Sonorem Magnificatae”.
His heartbeat rang out like a drum, clearly audible over the sounds of the jungle around us. We watched anxiously as the horrid creature under the skin of de Cruz stopped, and then slowly started gnawing a new tunnel, leading out into her arm. It was visibly speeding up now, and I tried not to think of its many-toothed mouth eagerly tearing through the flesh of de Cruz. When it got into her lower arm, I dared not wait any longer. I pointed my wand at the elbow and with a quick “Incisio” severed her arm at the joint. Frederick immediately threw the limb aside, and I did not object to Liselle’s burning it to a fine, white ash.
We patched up de Cruz as much as possible, given the circumstances - the ritual to regrow her arm would take at least a week. But when asked whether she would rather turn back, she just laughed.
“There’s a reason we Guardians train using our wands with either hand. Let’s move on”.