Saturday, October 3, 2015

Volume 3 - Chapter 12 - New Beginnings (Up)

Previously on EC…

After flipping numerous tables due to the biology reviews in two languages… wait, that’s my story *flips table*

Previously on EC…

Bell evacuated on the giant nightlight -that’s Sammy- with the Princess and her attendants, while Rick and the demihumans escorted the Princess’ Guard out of the forest. Till joined Kun in acting as the rearguard, breaking the opposing scouts’ spirits. Till revealed that she has been studying theories and records devised by Bell on the usage of magic, finally joining Bell and Kun in being able to fully use new, modified spells. The two (Kun and Till) of them completely blocked off the later pursuers by completely overwhelming them with magic unknown to most of those in both worlds, causing the night to become an epic tale known as “The Faeries’ Night March”.

Darkness breaks as the clouds are dyed in violet, false dawn heralding the end of the night as the sun has yet to rise from the north. A few shadows are busy moving about as soldiers do their patrols and the few others are commencing their jobs.

“Eh…?”
“What is that?!”
“Call the commander! I’m going to get the captain!”

The demihumans chatting with the students and young Sardonian porters, sent by De’muel to restock their blossoming tradepost, spot a giant ball of bluish-white light approaching them in the distance, immediately splitting up to sound the alarm. A pair of soldiers, along with the students, brings the human porters to one of the sturdier looking buildings nearby. Other soldiers within the same squad are already running off in pairs, going off in different directions. A pair runs toward the nearest fire lookout tower, which stands high above the other buildings, before quickly banging a metal plate with a rod placed at the top of the ladder. The purpose of the ladder was originally designed to get help in case of fire, but have been incorporated as a defense feature without a second thought by Sekn and Echo.

[TL Note: 火の見櫓 can be translated into watchtower OR fire lookout tower, but watchtower in English has a military used tied into it, where in this case, military use was purposely added onto it while it was intended for civic use, hence I went with the weird sounding fire lookout tower. This is likely a reference to the fire lookout tower used by the firefighters during the Edo period where Kyoto goes up in flame repeatedly that some dark humour spawned in the form of poetries.]

*GON GON GON GON*

The metallic banging can be heard across the entire settlement around the original Academy, causing numerous demihumans to run out of their respective wooden dwellings in pajamas and with weapons drawn. Within moments, the entire camp is alert, armed and ready. Seeing that there isn’t immediate danger, the soldiers split off into groups, some forming teams at the intersections within the settlement while others return to their dwellings to retrieve their armour. The students, although a bit slower, also got out of their rooms and rush into the different positions in the Academy and amidst the forest itself, ready to activate the various formations and defenses left behind by the former Headmistress.

*BAUOOO*

A horn sounds off in a corner of the settlement, quickly followed by a small, green burst of light in the air. Immediately, the pairs of soldiers on the run all turn towards the signal, appearing before Echo who’s escorting Sekn.

“What’s the situation?”

“Sir! A large, unidentified object is quickly approaching us from the northeast!”

“How large?” Sekn turn his head toward the soldier.

“Unknown, we can only see it emitting a light source.”

“Damn it, a magical beast?” Echo grinds his teeth.

Sekn’s brow furrows as he takes a few seconds to consider his options. “Send some people to see if Sir Hank and any others are available, in the meantime, form a wedge formation facing the object! Have the archers on the buildings, get two teams ready as drafters at the wings!”

“Sir! Yes Sir!”

Other pairs of soldiers reach Sekn, whereupon Echo relays the order to them. As each pair run off, they would inform each team they run across at the intersections. It could be said that it’s a highly inefficient way to give orders as opposed to signaling with flags or sounds, but this ensures better cooperation and more detailed instructions being received. With their physiques, it would only take dozens of seconds longer at most for the message to completely propagate throughout the entire battalion. Of course, there are times when sounds or flags would be the better option, but this isn’t one of those times.


* * * * *


“HALT- alt -alt -alt! IDENTIFY-fy-fy… YOURSELVES-es-es-es!”

An earth shaking shout echoes from outside Sammy, causing Bell to leave the Princess to her attendants. The attendants were brought inside Sammy after they exited the borders of the Norman Kingdom, allowing Sammy to travel at full speed. Before Bell has the chance to get out, the furry white blob gives off an equally loud reply.

*KERO! KKKERORORO KERO-RO-RO-RO!*

The felinoid quickly gets out of Sammy and flips herself upward from its mouth, landing on one knee as she surveys the situation. Undoubtedly, it’s the Academy grounds, but there are numerous figures like ants on the roof of the buildings and a wall of people in front of them.

“Oh shit!” Realizing that the demihumans have likely mistaken them for enemies, she immediately gets up and starts waving her arms. “IT’S ME, BELL! STAND DOWN! IT’S ME! STAND DOWN!”

*KERO! KERORORO!*

Sammy slows down as it takes a winding path toward the Academy, at greatly reduced speed. The students that are nearby help relay this information quickly amongst themselves, opening a path and escorting the glowing furball at a distance. Demihumans armed with bows and crossbows line the roofs, with their weapons lowered, but not withdrawn. In the front, the soldiers are armed with spears and swords in alternating position. On the sides, soldiers mounted on cadejos have long ropes with loops at the end, a few of them have logs* placed inside the loops of the ropes. The shining blob carefully makes its way to the front of the wedge formation before finally stopping.

[T/N: The drafters mentioned here with the logs are likely referring to the old tactic of special cavalry dragging logs behind them to break/immobilize legs of their enemies, the opened ended ropes can be used to drag/subdue anyone unfortunate enough to be snagged. Do note that historically, it was only done by absurdly powerful horses not noted for their speed, but their pulling power and strength. They cut their lines if they feel they can’t drag whatever they caught.]

“Damn, I didn’t expect a welcome party.” The felinoid takes a slow sweep with her gaze, admiring the rows of bolts and arrows that would’ve surely skewered them if Sammy hadn’t identified himself so quickly.

“Hahaha, it’s cause we missed you, Bell-sensei!” Echo jokingly replies as he makes his way in front with Sekn. Although it has long since been established that Bell is an Immortal and not an actual demihuman, the good impressions she received from the cavern inside the [Barghest Dungeon] is still present.

“False alarm! Resume normal activities!” Sekn holds his right hand up and casually flicks it backwards, dismissing the troops. “Is Sammy alright? There seems to be a large build up of mana inside of him.” His sightless eyes turn toward the glowing ball of fur, as though he can see the lights.

“Ah, umm… long story, let me bring the Princess to my room so she can rest first. I’m going to have to ask you to help me to keep any eye out for Rick and your soldiers who are escorting a band of female guards. We will explain everything after everyone’s back. In the meantime though, get some food ready and a resting area for about thirty people ready, they might also need some treatments as well.”

“By your leave, Bell-sensei.” The commander gives a quick nod in acknowledgment before turning his head to Echo, who immediately got the hint and starts organizing some troops.

The tension is cut, with the demihumans either heading back to their post or back to sleep, many of them gave Sammy a quick, curious glance before going on their way.

“Um… is it safe now?” One of the human porters sneaks a peek outside the door after hearing the orders to stand down. It didn’t take long before his eyes immediately latch onto the glowing beast that’s now standing on the ground. “What… is that thing?”

“Oh, don’t worry about him, he’s the senseis’ mount and quite friendly.” The young demihuman pushes open the door completely, leaving the porter hanging onto the side of the door, their head sticking out. “Let’s get to work, we need to get the goods to De’muel-ni by night fall!”

“Yeah, lephs go.” A bunny-esque demihuman agrees while holding onto a manifest of the goods to be transported, following the youth.


* * * * *


The settlement, for the most part, woke up slightly earlier than usual today due to the prior commotions. The canteen’s kitchen though, is a battlefield - it’s one every single meal, but it’s especially fierce today.

“You! Go get some more eggs from the aviary!” A buff looking demihuman barks at one of the soldiers that were sent to help her by the order of Echo. “You, you and you! Help Mi’an here and gather some more herbs from the garden!” The woman points at a few more of the soldiers before sending them off with a student.

“Ms. Morvok, we should go easier on the seasoning and make something light and soft, maybe even make a thin gruel with the soup instead.” One of the other students interrupts her before she can give her next order.

The soldiers look at the student in question with queer looks, some in surprise, some in admiration, others in pity, as “Ms. Morvok” is know as the “Taskmaster”, who takes her job very seriously. She will do almost whatever it takes to make sure the kitchen runs smoothly, it was rumoured that she got a demotion as a Major for beating -almost crippling if the stories are to be believed-, a high-ranking supplies officer who tried to skimp from their shipment in the past. Her food might not be the best tasting, but she always kept the battalion fed even when others corps went hungry. It can be argued that they only managed as long as they did within the cavern due to her efforts.

[T/N: しょくりゅうあねご is a pun and a half that I can’t come up with a good substitute for. The reason being that it can be read as 職竜 (Duty Dragon), 食竜 (Food/Devouring Dragon)- yes, they are both pronounced as しょくりゅう (Shoku Ryū) and probably more that I’m not aware of. Could also be another play on しょくりょう (Foodstuff - Shoku Ryō). あねご (anego) means female boss in this case. I can’t think of an english equivalent for this.]

The woman turns her head to the student, giving him her full attention. “Why?”

“With the way Bell-sensai rushed in, the amount of people coming and the preparation for medical treatment, I’d guess that they will be hungry and likely very exhausted, so something light, filling and nourishing with optional sides for those that can stomach more. A heavy meal would interfere with their rest as well and prolong any injuries.” The youth with the foxtail replies matter-of-factly.

The other students all nod as well, recalling the numerous times Till explained the importance of how food and health are related.

[T/N: Poor Till and her bland food irl~]

“Excellent, then get to it!” The woman acknowledges it with a loud voice, surprising the group of soldiers who expected something else. “What are you morons staring at, meals don’t cook themselves! The kids here will tell you what to do! And if I find any of you slacking off, it will be Me’pans for you lots for a week!”

[T/N: Me’pan written as is メ’パン, which means “Me Bread, but Me is the sound, not Me in English, so translating it into “Me Bread” sounds way too wrong for me, hence keeping the name in romanji]

The soldiers who were part of that campaign quickly snap to attention, making the newer soldiers follow suit. The students efficiently sort themselves out and get on with the tasks. It has to be said that the students were already cooking in large quantities before the arrival of the battalion, so they were already somewhat skilled in the matters of cooking for the masses. All “Ms. Morvok” and her crew are doing are sharing the kitchen with them and exchanging pointers along the way. On one hand, she is teaching them methods of food preservation, how to increase satiety of the meals and how to maximize the use of any available supplies. On the other, the students are teaching her and her crew the different tricks of adding and adjusting flavours - even without seasoning. This has the effect of increasing the efficiency in using the ingredients as well as making the meals more delicious, a win-win-win scenario for all involved.

As the kitchen returns to its hustles and bustles, one of the clueless soldiers asks a veteran of the campaign. “What is Me’pans?”

“You know how a large part of the army was cut off from the supply line in the Badlands for about eight weeks during the Me’giol campaign? When everything was foraged, all the supplies gone, and nothing left to eat, Anego here took old peels and castoffs from the discard pile along with larvae and maggots, all made into bread… without any seasoning.” The older soldier shudders just remembering it. “Now get a move on, or you will get a taste of it!”


* * * * *


*galulu galulu*

Water rapidly churns inside a large wooden tub as air bubbles float to the surface as it violently boils up from between a lightly furred paw.

“Check if it’s to your liking.” The half naked felinoid nonchalantly tells the quartet after removing her hand from the now steaming tub of water. One of the attendants quickly dips her hand in there before giving a nod. “Alright, give me a call if you need anything.” Without ceremony, Bell walks to another part of the bath -partitioned by an elegant, yet simple, eight panel folding screen- and removes her armour and weapon, revealing her heavily matted fur.

The Princess has a dazed look to her while still surrounded by the blinding lights, at the same time, her attendants share a dumbfounded expression that rarely fell from their face since their journey from their homeland. They just escaped from a potential life and death situation… yet the first thing their saviour does when they get here is to take a bath?

*gulu gulu*

The sound of water filling another tub can be heard across the folding screen with a *dun* sound of Bell dropping herself into the water.
“Haaa, god damn it, I forgot how much I hate humidity. We really need a proper bath, hmm…” Bell mutters to herself as she makes more splashing sounds, obviously enjoying herself.

With nothing better to do, the attendants assist their mistress into the tub in this semi-private bathroom, allowing her to relax.

After the Princess is disrobed and guided into the tub, Bell’s clear voice travels from across the partition. “So… what do you want to do now?”


* * * * *


“Om, muma huear.” Rick is sitting at one of the benches within the canteen, greeting the people entering the front door.

“Swallow your food first, you aren’t a kid anymore.” Bell rolls her eyes as she leads the Princess and her attendants to their guards, whom have arrived not too long ago.

The guards, gleefully wolfing down their meal, snap to attention as soon as they spot their mistress, practically leaping off from the benches.

“How fare you, Mi’lady?” The middle-age elf next to Rick arrives next to the Princess promptly with exacting movements, her eyes inspecting the Princess, who is in a simple white robe that’s easy to move in. Her usually tense face has softened into a smile, she has a rosy complexion and looks to be slightly tired, but the Princess’ refreshed appearance calms her anxious heart. Her gaze immediately shifts to the catwoman before bowing deeply.

“I’m feeling much better, we can all get some rest after a quick announcement.” The Princess smiles softly toward her mentor, advisor and confidant. Turning to Bell, “Can they…?”

“Go ahead, go ahead.” Bell waves her hand dismissively before the Princess can finish her question. She turns her head toward the open-window kitchen, catching the attention of one of the cooks, then holds up three fingers, causing the demihuman to nod. The Princess already received a light meal with tea in Bell’s quarters after having her bath during which they met with key-players and leaders responsible for the Academy and the surrounding settlement, as did Bell herself. Having a meal separate from designated mealtime and snack time is unusual within the Academy, but it’s a perk that Bell gets to enjoy. In fact, it’s a privilege that’s shared by all the teachers within the Academy, and the students are happy to oblige, often taking over the role for Isnic.

“You heard Bell-sama, help yourselves.” She turns to the rest of her guards with calm elegance, gesturing towards them. “Please, resume.”

[T/N: Normally, I remove honorifics most of the times, but like with Till’s speech when she adds ni/ne to the MC’s names, I simply can’t find a way to convert it into english without it sounding stupid or losing the context. I tried using the more conventional Lady Bell, Ma’am Bell, Mistress Bell, Milady Bell, Honourable Bell, etc… but nothing quite fit the bill. In this case, a great deal of respect is attached to the term as opposed to polite language, this is especially important as she has the standing of a princess.]


“““Yes, Mi’lady.””” The three attendants reply in unison, bowing once toward the felinoid and then once more towards the youth. Before they can even head to get food, a server carrying trays with thin soup medleys, soft-boiled eggs, bread and some fruits, places them onto an open bench nearby before disappearing back into the kitchen. The guards sit back down, but none resume eating. A quick glance shows that a few of them are lightly bandaged, but none the worse for wear.

“I have decided to attend school here for the time being with our saviours’ blessing, you are free to return to the kingdom if you wish. I will make sure you are all properly compensated.”

The women look at each other expressionlessly.

“Mi’lady, you can’t do that, your safety is-”

“Illna,” the Princess calls out the captain’s first name, interrupting her. “Do you think anything short of an army can harm anyone here, least of all, me?”

The captain becomes speechless, the discipline and ability of the demihumans here are clear to everyone. Even though she wasn’t there to receive the “welcome party” Bell did, she did notice the well hidden escorts that opened the way for them. She was only able to see the various ranged, melee and cavalry squads after she had already rode past them, that is to say, she would’ve been killed -or least heavily injured- dozens of times over had she been ambushed by those squads instead of being protected by them. This is on top of this place being protected by powerful Immortals, one of which is the rumoured disciple of the Mistress of Knowledge. She can only smile wryly, “No.”

“Then there’s nothing to worry about, the Sardonian and Feian Royalties are also going to be attending here.”

“Wha…” Illna can only bulge her eyes slightly, she never expected her prayers to be answered. Let alone to be answered by a hidden power with such deep influence. She turns to look at Rick, then Bell, then Rick again. She clenches her hands next to her heart, thanking whichever deity that provided them with a new lease on life.

*DIN DIN DIN*

Both Bell and Rick snap their heads up at the same time, as the Quest is crossed out and becomes complete, awarding them with vast amounts of experience, causing them to level. They immediately start poking into midair, acknowledging the new changes.

The Princess falters slightly, losing her balance. Seeing that their mistress is in dire need of rest, one of the attendants temporarily abandons her food and escorts her back to Bell’s room. Both of them bow to the two Immortals once more before heading back to rest.

The guards murmur amongst themselves after the two leave, in the end, only five of them decided to return to the Norman Kingdom. As such, they will be bearing official messages from the Princess, Illna and the Academy in regards to her enrollment.

“Headmaster,” a demihuman salutes Rick, “can I have a moment of your time?” He looks at the youth eagerly, nervous all the while. A female guard stands behind him, fidgeting as well.

“Om? Shurt.” Rick brushes his hand in the air, swallows his food and replies again. “Sure! What can I help you with?”

The demihuman turns his head to young woman, urging her to speak with his eyes.

“Greetings, Headmaster.” She gets on one knee and makes a deep bow in proper etiquette, her right hand resting above her heart, treating Rick the same way she would a Royalty. “My name is Zelara, I’m not sure how much you know about the situation of our Pent kingdom, but we -the refugees currently in the Norman Kingdom- would like to seek asylum, as long as you grant us use of some land, we will make sure to work our hardest to repay your kindness!”

“Eh? Say that again?” Bell walks over, seeing the unusual commotion, the other guards in turn also turn their heads this way.

The woman maintains her position, dipping her head once towards Bell, repeating her request once more. Since the canteen turned quiet, everyone could hear her clearly. Most of the guards nod their heads, well aware of the circumstances as to why Zelara joined the guards in the first place. As foreigners suspected of being spies -they are the group that escaped, just before Commander Sekn’s battalion during the evacuation- were detained by the Normans after their arrival. They were quarantined and subsequently used as “Penal Labourers”, treated only slightly better than cattle. Zelara, with her talents and matching criteria, joined the Princess’ Guard in order to get enough status to help her people. A few of the guards scoff in disdain, muttering “shameless” under their breaths, but most of them feel happy for their colleagues of several years.

“Oh! You are the people Sekn and-” Rick gives an involuntary shudder “Headmistress Alfina was looking for! Don’t worry about it, just bring the lot of ‘em, just make Sekn takes care of it.”

Upon his word, the golden-eyed demihuman immediately bows and dashes out the canteen.


* * * * *


“Listen up you maggots! This is the last review before the practical training, so pay attention!” The muscular man shouts at the front of the room, causing everyone to look at him attentively. “There are 3 primary types of bone treatments you have to be well aware of!” The man presses a wired switch attached to a projector with a *click*, causing the projection on the wall to change to an CAT scan image of the the skeleton.

“One! Dislocations! After making sure that the bone is only dislocated, proceed to treatment! Otherwise postpone treatment until hostile engage ends if at all possible! Set the patient in an upright or supine position depending on the nature of the dislocation, cause the patient to relax with whatever means possible, distraction, trickery, ANYTHING! Then rotate the bone in a natural motion, forcefully pop it back in place, make sure you use just enough force, otherwise you’d injure the patient instead!”

*click*

“Two! Simple fracture! This is when the patient’s bone has a clean break! Align then secure the bone, let the patient heal on his own! If the bones are misaligned during this process, you will have to intentionally break the bone apart! Then treat it all over again!”

*click*

“Three! Compound fracture! This is complicated and it will depend on your own judgement! First thing, make sure that blood flow is maintained! Second, make sure the bone has not impacted the nerves!” *click* “Third, sometimes it’s necessary to remove the bone! In the worse case, amputation! Remember, you are there to treat people, not to make friends!”

*ueeee*

One of the medic recruits unexpectedly vomits from seeing the last image with the amputation in process, causing those near him to move away.

“You! Clean up the mess before you leave!” Hank clicks once more, changing the image to a page with numerous mnemonics like CURVES, SAD, RICE, KISS, SALT and so forth.

The man makes his way to the exit behind him, leaving the room to the recruits.

“Haven’t seen that in a while, eh Hank!?” A gruff looking man, criss-crossed with scars, chuckles as he paces himself next to the man.

“Gah, we get those once in awhile, either they turn into a hell of a medic or drop out altogether! So, we are ready?”

“More than ready, the old bastard is beside himself with glee, already planning on how to mess with the greenhorns.”

Hank just closes his eyes as he sighs inwardly.

[T/N: After a more in-depth reviews of the claims, I had decided to replace the 3 treatment things, like the snake bite treatment, it is outdated, but in this case, outright questionable due to the actual results of research into it.]

15 comments:

  1. Sorry for the lack of update, irl stuff, pain management and shit ate a lot of my time. I also got really pissed off since I couldn't carry a lot of a nuance with the pun and science stuff near the end (I was stuck at 90% completion for a while).

    I had to replace the treatments from the raw since it's so wrong (current research completely rekt the claims), one of them is in the wtftier.

    As for those mnemonics, I only know a few of them, but I'm confused by CURVES since it shouldn't have existed yet, so maybe it's something else >.>

    RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The author of this methodology have since recanted it (personally, I'd still use it since it's still useful for first-aid).

    KISS - I assume is Keep It Simple Stupid

    SALT - I asked a few self-proclaimed military buffs, although there's no reference for me to draw on from my googlefu, from what I am told, it's the the steps for decision-making as a medic. Survey (the terrain), Assess (the battle situation), Locate (the wounded), Treat (I was afraid it was going to be Terminate xP)

    If anyone else knows any of the rest, please do share, it's something I'd like to know as well :3

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    1. Also, I was wondering why Bell told Sekn to wait until everyone's here but went ahead with the meeting anyways. I can only assume that she used PM to get permissions or something.

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    2. probably meant school's side, not hers?

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    3. ah, that'd make sense then, doh!

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  2. Just to let you know RICE is being phased out because the use of ice has been shown to delay or hinder healing, just to let you know.

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    1. Yep (that's why I mentioned that the author that created RICE recanted), that's from a Sport Injury viewpoint though. From a First-Aid point of view, it's still a very valid method of treatment since this is field medicine. The delay part is actually really, really good for field medicine, what I mean is that, if you can delay any conditions while in the field to get the injured to a proper treatment facility, it's freaking great even if it slows down injury (it makes sense since ice is literally slowing down cellular metabolism) since it's also delaying the onset of other symptoms that might prove problematic while in the field of combat.

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    2. yeah, nothing wrong with cold compress when you can warm it back up later. It also numbs things a bit to make transport a less painful affair.

      that joke about SALT, though....SALT the earth!

      As for other first aid stuff, I really just have to appreciate how you can download first aid apps on your phone, they really lower the barrier for teaching people how to be prepared.

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    3. Yeah, but it's still better to have it memorized, especially in emergency situation where you don't have a working phone or something. Survival training is nice, but I HIGHLY recommend First-AId and CPR training, they can save a life (or a limb... or emergency midwifery, didn't see THAT one coming), and it's free in quite a few locations (ask your school/uni/workplace if they cover it!)

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    4. In my country, if you have first-aid training and you try to help someone and there is any form of complication then you are liable and will probably be sued.

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    5. Still something you should learn, never know, you might save someone in your family. If your family sue you... then I've no words xP

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    6. Well, in the States, pretty much every state extends protection to good Samaritans, though the level and extent vary. Some only extend it to those medically trained, but some protect even untrained givers of aid. Where I live, protection is given strictly to good Samaritans who render "medical care", which according to the case precedent, does not include things like extricating a person from a wrecked car one believes to be in imminent danger of bursting in flames.

      http://thelegalguardian.com/good-samaritanism-died-in-a-car-crash/

      Dissenting Opinion of Baxter, J on van Horn v. Torti
      [A] hiker can be sued if, far from other help, he or she causes a broken bone while lifting a fallen comrade up the face of a cliff to safety, but would be immune if, after waiting for another member of the party to effect the rescue, he or she set the broken bone incorrectly.

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  3. Thank you for the chapter :)

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  4. Awesomeness as always! You should eat more chocolate in celebration! XD

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