Healer of All

Chapter III [Reunion] - PART 3

Update: 2017-08-30

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It took a greater degree of prudence to perform the healing arts in this size, but as she got more and more used to it, Eliza cured the incoming patients one after and another. Like Freya said earlier, the remaining patients all had relatively minor injuries, so it was almost like working in an assembly line. After healing the exhausted Freya and her assistant as well, Eliza asked if there were any other patients left.
"Err, I mean, even if there are..."
"I haven't truly apologized yet, and I want to heal every single person I can."
Eliza pressed in on the listless Freya. Freya, faced with the giant's sincere gaze showering over her from a height of nearly 100 feet above, didn't feel as much pressure from Eliza's size as she did earlier, but it was still quite difficult to stand against her.
(What a tough girl... well, I guess it's obvious with such a size.)
As if giving in, Freya tilted her head down with a dry smile. A few moments passed and she lifted her face back up, offering a proposal.

"Tell you what... some envoys are supposed to arrive in town this afternoon, so I'll try to gather up as many patients as I can 'till then. Could you stand by outside in the meanwhile?"
Eliza, however, opened her eyes wide and blinked a couple of times as if surprised by Freya's words,
"'Stand by'... does that mean I won't be doing anything until then?"
"Obviously! We can't exactly have you parading around town with your size, now, can we?"
Freya's tone was firm, and Eliza couldn't bring herself to talk back; it was now her turn to hang her head down.
"Uuu... I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do..."
"Don't worry about it. If all goes well we could have a good night's rest in four, five days."
Freyda hurriedly tried to smooth things over with the apologetic Eliza. For being big enough to fill up the entire plaza, her demeanor was incredibly timid, and that could easily throw anyone off. Of course, the easiest way to approach her would be to talk to her as if talking to a regular-sized girl, but to onlookers this would come off as a truly bizarre scenery... as Freya was mulling over such things, Eliza nervously came up with a question.
"O-one more thing. You said something about "envoys" arriving this afternoon, correct?"
"That I did. What about it?"
Freya's reply was swift.
"It's just that... this is the first I'm hearing of this."
"Ah... did that idiot not tell you...?"
With a sigh as a preface, Freya began to explain.

According to the garrison guards' commander Bradeau, the envoys' advance party arrived in town last night. The plan was for the guards to act as their escorts the next day's afternoon, but since Bradeau revealed the details of Eliza's invasion, the envoys asked to meet up in town prior to that. The offer was accepted and the man from the advance party left in order to convey this to the rest of them. Incidentally, the reason for the advance party's late arrival seemed to have been the magician Roenheim falling sick after eating too much of the local food.
"A young-spirited old-man if I ever saw one... good grief."
"Yes, he is the kind of person to only count his age until the halfway point."
Freya griped as if genuinely stunned at that elder's behavior, and Eliza voiced her agreement while furrowing her brow and temple. Not grasping his own age and behaving so rashly was indeed the sort of thing her master would do.

After Freya returned into the building, Eliza was left to slowly stand back up. The eaves of three-story houses were about as high up as the hems of her skirt; by lifting them up a bit she could avoid having them collide with the houses, so aside from how narrow the roads were, she was actually in a somewhat favorable condition. She thought of things like that as she went over the city walls and returned to the western gate alongside the outer walls.

Gransel, the commander and the vice-commander were discussing something on top of the main gate. There were also a couple of children behind them and in the walls' shades, and they peeked their heads out a little to get a look at Eliza. When Eliza looked back, however, they sunk back into the shade. It was inevitable, so she simply crouched down and began speaking to the three men.
"What's with the children?"
"Oh, seems like they were curious about you, but..."
Lionos responded and tried to bring the child behind him forward, but he remained stubbornly still. The vice-commander sunk his shoulders in visible exasperation, but Eliza shook her head sideways and said, "Not like that!".
She then brought her head's position down a bit to be in eye-level with the kids, and began speaking towards them with a soft voice.
"Hello. Would you mind letting me get a look at you?"
The children behind Lionos and the in the walls' shades brought their faces out halfway through and looked at each other. After some silent consultation, the boy behind the wall nodded as a signal and all four of them stepped out to the side.
Eliza greeted the children, and they nervously responded in kind.

After sitting back down with both her knees raised, Eliza gently extended the palm of her hand in front of the wall.
"Come here. Let's play together~"
Likely startled by the sheer size of her palm, the children's jaws dropped in unison and they simply stared at it and the giant healer's face for a while, but they eventually started slowly drawing closer, and once one of them placed the tip of his toe on the surface of her palm, the rest of them jumped aboard all at once. The palm did not shake at all even with four children's worth of body weight suddenly descending on top of it, and they seemed to have been surprised at that. Eliza, enjoying their little honest reactions, smiled as she brought the palm to her own knees while making sure not to rock it too much.

The place where the children have been placed- that is, Eliza's kneecaps- was about half as high up as the walls, and a white sloped surface extended from it towards both her abdomen and the tips of her toes. The children, unclear on what she planning to do after putting them on such a place, surveyed the gigantic face that was in a slightly higher position than them. Eliza, who seemed to have been waiting for this, opened her mouth to speak.
"Okay, now lie down there, please."
Far from solving their doubts, however, Eliza's words only served to deepen them. Nonetheless they did as told and lay down, at which point Eliza gently placed her over-10-inches thick index finger on one of the kids' shoulders and pushed his body slightly forward.
The boy instinctively let out a squeak. Ahead of him was a downward slope. Without no time given to comprehend his situation, he slid down the white slope while accelerating and shrieking. The scenery before him changed from the giant healer's face to the crest on her chest, until he finally stopped just in front of her belly.
(I... thought I was... gonna die...)
The boy took deep breaths as he somehow managed to stand up with an unsteady foothold. When he looked upwards with his eyes that were welling with tears, his gaze met with Eliza's, who was looking down at him with her chin pulled back in a worried expression.
"I'm sorry, I didn't think it would scare you this much..."
"I-I'm not SCARED!"
He placed his hands on his hips and shouted. It was his natural disposition as a young boy that made him react so excessively to being accused of cowardice. He was clearly pushing himself, but Eliza decided to not delve too deeply into that.
"I suppose I should've been more gradual about it since you're not used to this yet..."
With a hand placed next to her knee so that the other children won't fall, Eliza straightened her legs a bit to make the slope more gentle.

The kids who were sliding very nervously at first became increasingly more comfortable, to the point where some of them were sliding in a variety of different ways such as head-first or with their arms spread to their sides. Eliza had fun watching over them as she picked up the children who had finished sliding one after the other and placed them back on top of her kneecaps.
"She sure is adapting well."
Lionos commented with profound emotion. For him, the scene before his eyes was more unnatural than anything, yet at the same time curiously very natural.
"It's in her profession, I guess. Not to mention she's always been childlike herself."
Gransel responded and laughed heartily. This was indeed the type of scene he'd often see unfold in their hometown of Lideald.

A shadow then covered the three men's vicinity, and Gransel was suddenly being picked upwards. Needless to say, there was only one person around who could pull something like that off.
"Umm, I can hear you, you know~"
It was Eliza's strangely amused voice. Gransel was brought up to face-height with her and forced to face the giantess' mischievous smile head on.
"If you wanted to play too, you could've just said so!"
After saying so, Eliza's face drew gradually farther away. The soldier landed on top of the slide, but before he knew it its angle was arranged to be as steep as possible, to the point of resembling a cliff when viewed from above. Panicked, Gransel flailed his limbs around and protested with all his might.
"H-hold on... isn't this a bit too steep?!"
"Yes, that's why I'm having you do it!"
The giant healer dismissed his protests with an unflinching smile, and once he was dropped, Gransel got to savor the full terror of a straight downhill descent. It was through no fault other than his own, but in Bradeau and Lionos' cases, who were made to experience the same thrill for no reason beyond "might as well", this was nothing short of a disaster.
"Oh, this might be difficult for the children, though."
Eliza said with a broad smile with the three thoroughly exhausted men still on her abdomen.

As they all spent their time like that playing with the slide and wrestling with her finger, the bell signaling that it's now noon rang throughout the city, resounding with a low, heavy sound reminiscent of times past.
"Sorry, but I have to go now."
Eliza explained apologetically and began picking up the children playing on top of her knees and placed them on her left palm. The children looked up at her with slight disappointment in her eyes, but for Eliza, even their state of being reluctant to part ways was a joyous sight to behold. She placed her palm next to the wall, and after having the four kids climb off, raised her back and crouched on one knee. Instead of standing up, however, she extended her hand in front of the children once more.
"Let me show you something nice before we go."
This time, the children scrambled to board Eliza's hand and leaped right in. Eliza slowly stood up while her expression shifted into a smile, then extended her arm and raised the palm that the children were riding on as high up as possible. With her current size, just by doing that she could put them at a height of around three times that of the watchtower. The children raised their voices in awe at this scenery that they could never see before.
"Well? Nice view, isn't it?"
Eliza spoke out to them with a voice tinged with pride. Right away one of the boys thrust his body out by the edges of her palm and shouted towards her.
"Yeah, it's incredible! I can see so far away!"
What then entered his eyes, however, wasn't the giant healer's smiling face, but the city wall and the all the houses far down below. The boy's face cramped from the sudden sensation of height, and he carefully sank back on all-fours into the center of Eliza's palm.
Worried, Eliza lowered her palm down to shoulder-height and took a closer look at the kids. The boy who thrust his face out earlier was sitting down with his hands behind his back, and there was no fear in his eyes that were looking Eliza's way. Eliza was relieved, but asked just in case.
"Are you alright?"
"Yup. I sort of feel like I was gonna fall, but... it was fun!"
In contrast to his answer, his posture and voice came off as exhausted, and he was clearly rather fatigued. This being his first time, though, that much should be expected.
"Okay, I think this is a good time to stop."
Eliza suggested, but the remaining three children immediately stood up and voiced their protests.
"No, I wanna see it too!"
"Me too!"
"Yeah, me too!"
(Kids will be kids, I guess...)
She initially thought they were docile, but now that they're reacting in much the same way the children in her hometown did, Eliza couldn't help but slip into a bitter smile. It made her happy to feel this needed, but she had quite a tough time back then being badgered by children to play with them on a daily basis and having to soothe and humor them every single time. She'd have to take care of several children at once as they clung to and grappled with the hems of her clothes, and it was no easy task.
"Just a little bit more, okay? You're making people wait."
She replied as if giving in, but the children did not seem to mind her tone as they crawled on all-fours towards the edges of her palm. While smiling at their quick-tempered movements, Eliza propped her left hand up with utmost care to make sure nobody falls off. But as if paying no attention at all to her concerns, the children shouted things like "I'm number one!" as they competed between themselves who could stick their body out the furthest. It was a test of courage of sorts, but the person watching over them was more unnerved than anyone. Still, the children continued competing and extending their bodies further and further. Sensing danger, Eliza finally rounded up her fist a little to force the kids back into the center, then lowered that palm down to shoulder length before straightening back her fingers.
"Okay, now we're done."
The children couldn't do anything in response to this sudden turn of events so they remained silent for a while, but when they sensed that playtime is finally over, they began throwing a tantrum.
"Oh, hush. Selfish kids like that get crushed~"
Eliza smiled as she starting curling her left hand into a fist a bit. From her experiences in her hometown, Eliza learned that this small amount of intimidation was perfect against rowdy children. While the four kids certainly became obedient in a heartbeat, they were still looking up at her as with longing eyes, but Eliza simply picked them up one by one and placed them back on top of the wall. Just as she was about to stand upright, Lionos let out a few words of wonder.
"At least she's cheery when handling children..."
Eliza's attention immediately shifted to him when she heard that. In front of Lionos, himself bewildered from the sudden movement, was Eliza's face which instantaneously turned a bright red. It was due to remembering what she did to him while playing with the children earlier.
"I-I... um... I'm sorry."
Face still flushed red, Eliza bowed down her head.
"I only just met you yesterday, and yet... I treated you like a child..."
"No, it's alright. No use fussing over it now."
When she lifted her head, she saw Lionos lightly waving his hand to pacify her. She was now only slightly overhead to him, having huddled into herself from the shame.
"More importantly, seems like the envoys are here. Apparently chief is receiving them at the clinic as we speak."
"Oh, I see. Understood."
Eliza stood up straight away and gave a bow, then returned to the city after straddling over the city walls. She could feel herself growing slightly bigger as she went, perhaps due to her body warming up from the intense embarrassment.

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