Healer of All

Chapter III [Reunion] - PART 6

Update: 2018-07-31

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Roenheim then continued by teaching Eliza the basic Arias needed to communicate with souls, as well as several simple spells that made use of them.

Creating gusts of wind, conjuring fire and water, controlling and lifting pieces of the earth... they were all very basic techniques, but Roenheim was nevertheless surprised at how easily Eliza managed to perform them all. Humans with a high affinity for spiritual arts were sometimes compared to "Fairies", and perhaps Eliza was now reaching that territory herself. However, Roenheim couldn't bring himself to use those exact words, so he chose a more gentle way of explaining it to her.
(I suppose your sensitivity and magical powers increase with your size.)
(Yes... that's probably it.)
Eliza was still feeling strange over being able to perform spells so easily. Sensing her discomfort, the old master spoke to her as cheerfully as he could.
(Don't worry. If it's not a matter of life and death, you're not going to need a miracle. A couple of regular old "advanced healing spells" should do the trick.)
(Either way, don't fret about it too much... oh, and you're going to have to learn to construct Arias before you can do anything.)
He suddenly spoke faster as if he remembered something halfway through the sentence, then started digging through the bag hanging on his shoulders. After a short while, he produced a few parchments tied up in bundle.
(I forgot to give this to you earlier. I wrote down a few Arias for you just in case.)
He proudly presented the bundle of scrolls in front of her, but quickly realized what the 5 square inch pieces of paper looked like from his student's perspective. For her, it was hard to see them as anything more than white dots, and even with her heightened senses she couldn't possibly make out the words written on them.
(I'll, um... I'll look at them later.)
Eliza responded to her master with an awkward smile..

The sun was starting to set as Eliza had finished practicing most of the basic spirit arts. Taking into consideration the journey back home, she figured it was about time to wrap things up. Eliza returned to her previous size and began walking back to the city of Balam with her master still on the palm of her hand.

The townsfolk were busy setting up the evening markets, but several people retreated back into their houses with their luggage in hand when they saw the giantess coming back, while the ones who were still outside running their shops all collectively looked up at her with frightened eyes. Eliza noticed that even as she was approaching the town, but she chose to not look at them and instead maintained her lax walking pace until stopping by the city walls. She then started speaking to the people with a somewhat lonely smile.
"Umm... I'm not going to enter the town, so you can relax."
Some of the townsfolk were seemingly surprised at her words as confusion spread across their upwards-looking faces. Sensing this, Eliza took a deep breathe and began to explain.
"I'd create dust clouds just by walking around after all, and the streets are packed with people so it'd be very dangerous for me to go inside..."
Her face sank a bit while she was speaking, but she soon lifted it back up and continued.
"And besides, I'm sure all of you must be scared of me."
It was hard for the townsfolk to think of what to say in response to the giant girl's feeble words. None of the people still outside said anything, and instead returned to their works with their heads tilted down as much as possible.

The awkward atmosphere where neither side could easily spark up a conversation continued. What broke that silence was the shrill sound of the city wall's gates being opened. Eliza's expression became brighter, possibly as she noticed that several of the people that arrived were new faces.
"Oh, hello!"
Even her voice as she bowed down and greeted the men was cheerier than before. Gransel forced a smile at how quickly the giant healer's mood could change before waving at her and asking a question.
"So how'd the magic practice go?"
"Hm? Oh, well, you know..."
Eliza gave a rather vague answer as she lowered down her left hand to the foot of the city wall. The old man who was on her palm walked carefully over the bumpy surface and dropped to the ground before addressing the people who had gathered up by the gates.
"I'd say it went splendidly well. You can expect great things from her as an ordinary healer in the future."
His choice of words in 'ordinary healer' was meant to stress to the gathered crowd that she will not go beyond her intended route of becoming a simple healing magician. Eliza perceived his intentions and nodded, but it didn't seem like any of the people picked up on it. To her, that meant that she had to show it to her with her own actions going forward.
"Anyway, it's about time to head home."
Eliza broke the short silence and placed her hand in front of Gransel, gesturing him to go on top. She watched over as he climbed on top of her palm 10 inches above the ground with somewhat heavy footsteps. She then slowly stood up then bowed down her head with words of gratitude.
"Thank you for all your help today, everyone."
When she lifted her head back up and looked towards the city's streets once more, she could see a resident tipping his hat at her as a friendly salute. This lifted her spirits, and she decided to speak her mind further with a newfound smile on her face.
"I'll be back again. Next time, I'd... I'd like to help everyone in some way."
"Ya already did!"
Freya, who was standing by the city walls, chimed in without a moment's delay. She waited for the giant healer to look down her way before continuing to speak.
"Besides, we'd like to give you a warmer welcome next time too. Believe it or not, my husband's pretty apologetic 'bout what happened the other day."
Freya hit the shoulder of Bradeau, who was standing next to her. The warrior could only respond to his wife with an embarrassed "h-hey, shut up...".
"Eh...? You two were married?"
Eliza couldn't hide her surprise at the sudden reveal, but she quickly slipped back into a smile and continued.
"Come to think of it, you do seem like you'd make a lovely couple."
"We so don't!"
Both of them simultaneously fired bashful retorts at her. However, the vicinity quickly burst into laughter at their perfect synchronization, and they couldn't do anything but grimace and occasionally throw glances at each other.

As she was crossing the mountains on the way back to Lideald, Eliza's stride was a lot lighter than it was yesterday, partly due to finally being needed for something but also due to having somebody to talk to on her way home this time along.
"Thanks a lot for everything today."
Gransel, who was in the comfort of her hand, had already lost count of how many times the giant healer thanked him by now. But for her, that was just how happy she was over having somebody around to ease her loneliness. Gransel himself could do little more than curl up in her hand and occasionally smile vaguely at her in response. They couldn't afford to stop and rest if they wanted to be home before nightfall, so he had to grit his teeth and bear the tremors.
"I'm sorry. I should've wrapped things up faster or at least practiced walking more carefully when carrying people at this size..."
Eliza was apologetic and was regularly casting spells on Gransel to alleviate his motion sickness, but that still didn't completely cure his nausea so he had to endure it by himself to an extent.

As Gransel was trying to tough out the nauseating trip, his thoughts were interrupted by a sudden gasp followed by his body being thrown a few steps off balance. It seemed like Eliza suddenly stopped in her tracks. Gransel pulled his weary body back up, and what appeared in front of his eyes was Eliza's face on the verge of tears.
"Um... I forgot to ask my teacher if I could ever return back to normal..."
Her voice was frail, almost sobbing. She looked back and forth between the man on her hand who was at a loss for words and the already distant city of Balam behind her, making it clear what she wanted to say without needing to put it into words. Gransel let out a deep sigh before rebuking the giant healer.
"We don't need to return. I already asked him about that myself."
Her wavering eyes immediately locked down on Gransel after hearing his words. He was already used to her massive stares, but being looked at like that so suddenly and from such a close distance overwhelmed him to the point of not being able to immediately reply. He cleared his throat once in an attempt to conceal his momentary bewilderment before continuing.
"There's a lot to discuss, so do you mind if we do it later?"
Eliza nodded with an obedient "yes" to his proposal, but then continued speaking with the same gentle expression.
"In that case, I'm going to pick up the pace."
Before Gransel could even swallow his saliva at the abrupt exclamation, Eliza curled up the fingers on the hand he was on and brought it closer to her body before resuming walking with a faster pace than earlier.

In an attempt to endure the intensifying tremors, Gransel clenched his gut and stiffened his entire body. As he was waiting for the excruciating travel to end, he closed his eyes shut and replayed in his mind what the elderly magician told him earlier.

How it would be difficult for Eliza to return to normal since her condition is the result of an accidental combination of several failed spells.
How there was a possibility that she could grow by exposure to not only the sun but any source of fire.
And how this should be concealed until they find out for certain.

But more than that...
(Next time, I'll make them send someone else... someone who doesn't get motion sickness, preferably...)
That was what Gransel repeated to himself over and over in his mind.

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