~ The Curse ~ pg 5

Civyl gave a little sarcastic chuckle. Was his demonstration not clear that he could brave the pain? The man’s insinuation that he would fear discomfort was an insult. “Is that it?” 

Akasha wore a serious expression when he replied. “No, there is one more thing.” He resumed his pacing, seeming more nervous. He paused even longer, working up his own courage before he finally blurted it out. “I need to cut off half the working eye to re-grow it from. I can, of course, heal them both after that, but none have been willing to take the chance that I may fail to re-grow the missing eye and permanently damage the other as well.” Now Civyl understood his reluctance. He went on in his nervousness. “Those with nine fingers can risk losing another for the chance at a whole hand, but those with only one eye are not keen on the idea of being completely blind.” 

Civyl sighed. “That is quite a risk,” he agreed. 

“Only if you have no faith in my skill,” Akasha stood up straight. His earlier nervousness replaced with confidence. He seemed to have no qualm with his own skill, only with the possibility that Civyl would refuse to let him use it. 

And he was right to be nervous. “Even a master healer has his limitations,” Civyl repeated the man’s earlier statement. “And I do not have the freedom to risk being blind.“ 

Akasha let out a breath he had been holding. “A pity. I do so miss the challenges.” His demeanor turned from hope to cold business. “I am afraid I have nothing else for you, then. You may stay the night, but please be on your way in the morning.” 

“What, that’s it? There is nothing else you are willing to trade the information for?” 

“What I have already given you, I would normally charge a full month’s wages for, or a spare organ.” He poked his own sides to emphasize his meaning. “I think I have been more than generous by allowing you to leave with both your kidneys intact.” He crossed his arms in front of his chest, giving off a sense of finality. “I respect Nivia as my student, but I will not tolerate you asking any more of me.”

Civyl noticed Nivia perk up out of the corner of his eye. There was a shift in her demeanor that left something in the woman’s stance he had not seen since Master Akasha arrived. Confidence. “I will do it,” she said, stepping forward from her corner. 

“Do what?” Civyl asked in confusion. 

Nivia’s gaze did not leave her teacher. “I have faith in your skill, Master. Take half of my eye to re-grow his missing one.”

The End

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