I made a blood circle with as much haste as I could muster. I thumbed it with blood available from my singed face. She was getting away I knew, but I had to help the passengers of the bus first. They had done nothing wrong. They had no idea what was happening. They did not deserve this.
I finished the circle and pulled rose petals from my satchel. Quickly. One two three four five and ignite! From the inside out, a pulsating wave of orange light emanated from the circle. As the wave crested over the innocents, it rendered them unconscious. It spilled out of the decimated windows into the roadway, gaining speed as it did so. Even the farthest passenger, with the exception of her, was caught in the orange tide.
Asleep and in an artificial calm, their wounds began to heal. The deep gashes stitched themselves. The bubbled char which once was skin returned to its fleshy hue. Broken limbs realigned. Blood retreated back to its owner. All were recovering, basking in the orange glow. All except for me.
I hobbled, I stumbled, and otherwise tripped my way out of the double decker wreckage. No one had died. None were going to die. Not while I still had my strength.
The incantation of Mellowed Heal is not so relaxing for the caster as the name would suggest. To synthesize the spell into Mellowed Heal of the Amnesiac was even more taxing. Nevertheless, it had to be done and it’s a miracle everyone survived – the passengers will just never know how much of a miracle it was.
The police will be suspicious of the circle. Problems for later. Had to find the girl first.
I knew she was bleeding. This, I had ensured when I hexed her heart to beat fast while she had open wounds. Her temporary fix would not be able to hold up. While I’m sure she had plenty of experience burning people down, I doubt she had very much experience putting them back together. The woods off the edge of the roadway were the logical option. So, I started there.
Yes, definitely. She had fled into the woods. Like a hound with nose to the ground, I was tracking her blood. Drips and specks through the hedges. Against the tree bark. Dotting the rocks and flora. Deeper still into the vegetation. She had gotten much further than I anticipated.
More blood. More concentrated. I was disoriented, but I was close. When you use a hex to track blood, the blood clicks and flashes purple for an instant. My advance through the woods was a series of pops and flashes. Click. Blink. Click. Blink. Crackle.
Ahead of me, a large splash of wet blood against an ironwood tree. COME OUT! I beckoned the enchantress. COME OUT AND FACE ME. WHY ARE YOU HERE?
A rustle. A rustle behind the tree. A rustle past the bloodshed. I advanced on her, wary of what action she might take on my approach. I covered my hands in blood and slid brass knuckles on. Ready to paralyze her by one force or another. The rustle was louder. She was attempting to stand. Seconds. Heartbeats. Instants. And-
Nothing. Nothing but twigs and blood and leaves and dirt. But the leaves were rustling themselves. The twigs cracking with no weight to snap them.
I had forgotten. In my fury and disoriented pathfinding, I had forgotten. I had forgotten she fights clever, not hard.
The fireball rune trap placed above the self-destructive sticks detonated and sent me spiraling like a bloodied comet into the brush.
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