Previously: Yi Fan brought an injured Twain to the Czar’s healer with blood on her shirt. And now…
â€œWhose blood is that?â€ Rada asked.
â€œNot his,â€ the ghost woman answered, and the desperate look in her eyes silenced the next question on Radaâ€™s lips.
When Rada Vaneva had been brought to the Czarâ€™s domain from Bulgaria, she had been excited by the challenge. The Czar had lost his arm fighting the demon hordes of Hell on Earth, and he wanted Radaâ€™s healing powers to help him grow a new one.
The sessions had been rough on both of them. Regrowing a limb was never easy, but the Czarâ€™s limbs had greater mass and density than regular muscle and bone. Even with his considerable recuperative powers, it took much more energy from her and took weeks longer than normal. But when it was done, she was justly proud of her accomplishment and looked forward to returning to Bulgaria with a tidy sum in the bank for her trouble.
Instead, she had been informed she was â€œtoo valuableâ€ to leave. The next thing she knew, she was installed in this tiny apartment and forced to heal the wounds caused by the Czarâ€™s torturers, to keep their victims alive long enough to be tortured even further. The money she had been promised was supposedly in escrow someplace, but she didnâ€™t believe she would ever get it.
[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”left”]It turned out that she was not brave enough to risk death by escaping, and yet not callous enough to refuse healing to someone suffering right in front of her. Thus she prolonged both their and her suffering…[/blockquote]So now, here she was. It turned out that she was not brave enough to risk death by escaping, and yet not callous enough to refuse healing to someone suffering right in front of her. Thus she prolonged both their and her suffering.
But this… This was better and yet worse. Worse, because it was apparent from the Chinese womanâ€™s bloody shirt that she had just killed someone to free the prisoner she had brought, the one with the broken arm. But better also, because the man she had killed was almost certainly the Czarâ€™s head torturer, which meant Rada might have fewer clients in the days to come, until the Czar found someone else to take his place.
Which brought her back to worse, because if she helped this man, it would almost certainly bring her trouble in the future. The Czar would certainly punish her when he found out. But she also knew the ghost womanâ€™s reputation. If she refused, she might die right now.
The man groaned in pain. Sweat glistened on his face and plastered his hair to his forehead. And that was ultimately all that mattered. The Czarâ€™s wrath might fall on her someday, but she could not refuse to aid this man now.
â€œI can help,â€ she said. â€œBut you have to know. I can soothe his pain, or I can heal his injury. I cannot do both at once. If I soothe his pain, he will still be injured until he can heal naturally. If I heal his injury…â€
â€œSoothe his pain,â€ the ghost woman said, and Rada was surprised to see genuine affection on the womanâ€™s face.
â€œNo,â€ groaned the man, his face pale. â€œHeal the bone!â€
What will happen next? Don’t miss the next episode!
To read from the beginning, click here…