Sure enough, the sights that came before her were reminiscent of memories Naomi would sooner forget, with both new and familiar putrid smells and sounds. People were cramped inside, the frail and elderly taking beds whilst the young took the floor, the makeshift room filled with pules for attention. As she'd thought, once Naomi had been noticed, young men and women rushed to her, tugging at her clothes to ask her to help their older relatives, each one with a plea as difficult to refuse as the other. The man that had escorted her wove between the foots of beds, motioning for her to follow. She watched him, and in that moment despised him. His high posture and emotionless grey eyes did not belong here amongst the hopeful and solemn, the sword at his hip like a middle finger to them all.
As Naomi followed, a flush of anger came across her. She didn't like to suppose, but what was to say that the pain around her wasn't a result of the actions of men like the one in front of her? The rivalry of Dynios and Drakos-El dated back so long that it was ridiculous, and each man seemed so reckless that who was to say they hadn't mistaken another clan and earned their wrath? None of these innocents deserved such a fate of course, but the men that fought in their name...that was a different story.
Naomi began with the patient the man named Kane had directed her too, an old woman with hair as long and pale as willow tendrils, her skin loose and dark like dried hide. She bent down at the edge of the bed, the woman turning her head the slightest to look at her, and revealing a wound at her temple deep to the white of the skull.
It was serious, and Naomi was glad she'd conserved her magick. She kept her headscarf on despite the heat, and pulled up her sleeves, making sure the cuffs didn't hinder her work, revealing the white tattoos that wound their way across most of her body, runes spinning around her arms like rope, turning into circular patterns on both sides of her hands and fingertips. She saw Kane look at them with a moment of intrigue, standing above the bed awkwardly, naturally as it seemed that he filled up half of the tent. Naomi glanced back at him, at his dark uncombed hair that made jagged shadows across eyes that held a fury older than the rest of him. Parts of his clothes were burnt away, his armour hanging loosely; his body showed signs of not having relaxed for days.
Turning back to her patient, Naomi murmured the words to activate her magick, so well-known to her that they seemed engraved on her tongue. At her command, her tattoos lit up, the patterns on her hands beginning to morph and revolve as power trickled through her nerves. She held her hands above the woman's wound, her lips letting through a sign of pleasure as the Holy magick did its work.
"Is she kin?" Naomi asked, looking up at Kane,
"No," he said, shaking his head, "she's not mine. Why would you assume?" His voice was deep and serious, holding back all that he didn't think she deserved to know.
"Only because you took me to her first, that's why,"
"She's loved by the clan, that's all,"
"And you're not part of the clan?"
He stiffened, brushing her question off and saying nothing. "How long will it take?"
"As long as it takes to count the stars or fall asleep. I can't know. There will be some injuries within my limits, some far beyond..." Naomi looked around at the tent. She saw that Vahla, Rhenur's newest apprentice, had arrived to hand out ampules of tonic, and now there was even less space than before, so tight that it seemed that everybody's souls were touching.
"What I know for certain is this: your people will never survive as well here as they will in Fregurd. It takes no amount of Holy magick to figure it out,"
"You think we should just abandon Dynios like cowards?" Kane's brow furrowed, and Naomi knew that he was thinking her stupid. Many had in the past, but like always, Naomi set out to prove him wrong.
"I would hardly call this place Dynios anymore. The soul of your camp passed on with the souls of your people. All I can say is that whoever wished you destroyed will likely not leave you be unless you move into safety past the Heldian Valley and the Stone Faces."
Kane's hand moved in a gesture towards his sword, as if the thought of the enemy moved him towards bloodlust, and Naomi was quick to continue. "Show me even a glint of steel and I'll remove you from here, and don't think I won't simply because you have more body muscle." He looked surprised at her rebuke, and as Naomi watched the flesh of the woman's wound knit back together, a smile quivered on her lips. "War doesn't belong in the same place as hope, so don't even think about it."
Kane huffed and meandered past beds and boxes towards the door. "I'm going to consult our...leader. You stay here and do your job."
The change was instant once he'd left. Naomi felt her magick flood into her as easy as breathing, and she knew that all that had stopped it was her conflict with men like Kane. There was a reason she was proud to be from Fregurd, and even though she wished that Rhenur could have taught her strikes and blows as well as procedures and enchantments, she was much happier to be of a different circle than warriors. She only hoped that she could retain that happiness as it dawned on her that, as would come the Dynios and Drakos-El to Fregurd, so would many more unwanted arrivals...