96 ~ Ghia

Ghia felt indescribably silly. Of course, she knew every woman could expect her moontime around the age of fifteen. Of course, some women got theirs late; some early. Of course, she’d not had hers yet. She’d just never put the thoughts together in her mind, and so had panicked momentarily at the rush of blood from between her legs.

Thank Terra for Anala and Aro, she thought. Otherwise she might have made a true fool of herself.

Truth be told, it was a relief. It certainly explained her cramps of the past tredicem or so, and now she knew without a doubt she was human and able to have children.

Not that that had ever been a really major consideration in her life – more of a peripherally held dream, an afterthought to career, adventure, and someone to love. She’d always figured once she’d had her fill of adventure, a career she was happy with, and someone to grow old with, then she could think about children. Looks like I may have to think about it much sooner, if I’m to be Lady Lihin.

If it was true, and her mother was of the Exsil Vis line? Do I want to birth more children of that dubious heritage? They’d be pariahs, were their lineage known – and who knows how they’d turn out?

Anala was of that line, and the bellica seemed to have grown up relatively well-balanced. Even considering her Blood River-sized mean streak, that dark well of anger Ghia had glimpsed when she had been in Anala’s consciousness what seemed ages ago. Was it really only just under two tredicems ago?

Ghia sighed. A complicated issue, to be sure, and quite frankly, while she more than likely would have ended up having kids eventually, she didn’t like the prospect of having it forced on her.

“Merde,” she said as she nicked her finger with her sickle. Sucking on the blood that welled up from the cut, she resolved to put her distracting thoughts on hold. This was the third time she’d cut herself while harvesting.

Finishing the plant she was on, Ghia gathered up her basket of darkshade leaves and headed back inside the clinic, where she gave them to another healer to make into paste.

Bandaging her cuts, she started to make the rounds on her patients. Dagon was already down at the tavern and fully healed; his injuries had not been serious. Eorl Gray still slept, but she was on the mend and could be moved back to her manor the next day, Ghia decided, under observation. She gave those instructions to the healer assigned to that quadrant, and then moved onto Mara.

The girl was wide awake, watching everything going on around her with curious eyes. Ghia smiled as she sat down. “Hey, kiddo. How are you feeling?”

Mara returned a game smile. “Much better, thanks be’d ta ye, Healer.”

“Good,” Ghia said, checking for fever. Finding none, she checked the girl’s ribs, bruised from her fall to the rocks. “Does it hurt when I do this?” She pressed gently against the girl’s sides.

“A mite.”

“Less than before?” A nod was her response. “Good. You’re healing up fine. You’ll be back to sailing the four seas in next to no time,” she said, smiling as she tucked Mara back into bed.

“About that,” Mara started. Ghia raised her eyebrows at the girl. “Uncle Merry hasnae healer on board ‘is ship – d’ye think I’d have tha ability ta be one?” She looked at Ghia with such hope in her eyes that the healer couldn’t help but smile.

“I think you’re very bright, and very compassionate, Mara. Those are good qualities in a healer, to be sure.”

“D’ye think I could apprentice to ye?”

“So you could be close to your sister, you mean?” Mara ducked her head, and Ghia saw she’d read the girl right. “As much as I’d love to have you as my apprentice, Mara, my job is very difficult and hectic right now. I don’t have the time nor patience to train up the healers already under my charge, let alone taking on any other acolytes. Also, Atherton is not the safest place at the moment – and Merry and Anala would never forgive me if I brought you knowingly into danger.” She smiled at Mara and the girl returned the smile, knowing Ghia’s words to be true. “However, if you’re serious about healing, I would suggest training up with him,” she added, pointing to a healer checking on an injured soldier. “Charles is a very good adept healer, and he keeps his head in a crisis. You would do well to train under him.”

Mara nodded, though she still looked a bit sad. “Thank ye, healer Ghia. I wish I could train with ye, but I’ll just have ta be satisfied with staying safe in Harbourtown.” She wrinkled her nose.

“Safety’s not as bad as it sounds,” Ghia said with a wink, ruffling Mara’s hair. “I’ll tell Charles you want to apprentice to him; for now, try and get some more rest, okay?”

Mara agreed readily, and on that note Ghia moved on to her other rounds.


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