It had been a frantic five minutes. Although Satbada had dropped the razor quickly, Lavvi had managed to nick an artery. They could tell because the blood had come in spurts. It was a thin enough stream, but it was coming in spurts. Narnemvar looked at it dumbly as Satbada clamped fingers on it, pressing firmly and calling for healing. It was spurting. It wasn’t just dripping. It was spurting out of his neck!
Satbada called several times, louder and louder, as Narnemvar’s mind chilled enough to realize his friend’s peril and to begin casting. It was a good thing that the magic was right there. Shocked as he was, he might have fumbled raising it. Even the magic felt strange and foreign as he sent it into his friend’s neck. At least it felt that way until the flow of it took him and he could think of the repairs to be made in the abstract, without any personal meaning or emotional impact.
He stopped the flow and held the edges of the artery together quickly, but did the fleshknitting slowly and carefully. The slower he worked, the longer it would be until he had to come out of the magic and know what had happened. Not that he had decided that openly. His mind was doing very little openly. The hole in Postlavanderon’s neck was doing enough open for one day. Maybe he’d think openly later. Or not. No need to decide now.
Satbada watched the not so merry now mage heal his lord. Postlavanderon leaned back with his eyes shut exactly as he had during the steaming and shave. It chilled the servant to see his master slowly begin to smile. Somehow the smile seemed more wrong than the cutting. There could be reasons for the cutting. There was no good reason for the smile.
The hairs on the back of his neck and arms tingled and rose as Postlavanderon began to chuckle. It was a soft, mildly amused chuckle. A magician was closing a deadly hole in his neck, a hole he had opened himself, and he was laughing.
Satbada began to put the shaving things away. He cleaned everything thoroughly and completely. When he was finished, he began to stow the rest of his master’s gear.
“Did you see his face? I finally shocked him.” Postlavanderon continued his chuckle around his words.
“I would hardly think that the effort matched the reward, sir.”
“You were shocked too. You should have seen your face.” Narnemvar’s hands still hovered over the slowly closing red gap in his friend’s neck. “He’s been trying to shock you properly for years and I’m the one who finally managed it.”
“Perhaps a reassessment of the purpose of this little traveling jaunt is in order, sir. It seems not to be affording you as much amusement as you require.”
The glow around Narnemvar’s hands faded, which left him looking into his friends laughing face as the magic left him.
“You should have seen your faces, both of you.” The chortles seemed to float in the air around the mage, disconnected. “I win.”