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Knights of the Demon Chapter 3: Dream

GWS Aug 22nd, 2015 (edited) 310 Never
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  1.        
  2.         “Hmm,” It wasn’t as if Mary didn’t like the Kraken nurse of her school, but there was something about her tone when she took the glass thermometer out of her mouth and looked at it intently that made her heart sink. She managed to stop herself from shaking, even as she sat on the medical bed, but the vivid picture of the metallic beast which seemed to haunt her made her heart unable to beat properly. The nurse noticed this when she took her blood pressure, and gave her a look as if to calm her down. She was calm. At least, that’s what she told herself again and again.
  3.  
  4.         Felicia, on the other hand, was nowhere near a level in which you could call ‘calm’. Her small size deceived many of her true strength and resolve, especially considering she managed to carry Mary on her back all the way to the nurse’s office, which was downstairs, without a hint of a complains. Most of the complaints came from Mary herself, trying to assure her friend that she was fine and could walk. But Felicia knew it was a lie, and Mary knew she wouldn’t let her walk even if it was true. She was even tempted to ask her friend if she was heavy, but was afraid that Felicia would be too blunt. If it was one thing Felicia didn’t lack, it was honesty. And considering how worried she looked sitting next to her sick friend, clutching her hand in an iron grip, looking towards the Kraken nurse for answers, she was honestly afraid and honestly worried about her safety. Mary smiled and placed a hand on top of Felicia’s, and her head snapped towards her as if she was a dog being called by her master.
  5.  
  6.         “Feli, I’m fine.” Mary assured her friend, more of an assurance to herself. “Relax.” Felicia frowned, but gave her a gentle nod.
  7.  
  8.         “Ms. Bell, I’d say you were anything but fine.” The Kraken nurse interjected into the heartfelt aura. She placed one of her magenta coloured tentacles onto Mary’s head, and she winced at the cold and wet feeling. “You’re running a fever.”
  9.  
  10.         “A fever?” Felicia almost yelled. “I checked her before we got here. She was fine!”
  11.  
  12.         “That was then; this is now, Ms. O’Ridley.” She crossed her arms under her breasts, her breasts that seemed to be straining against her chalk white nurse outfit. “Can you tell me again what happened?”
  13.  
  14.         “Nothing unusual for Mary, Doc.” Felicia explained. ‘Doc’ beckoned her to continue. “She just kind of phased out in deep thought during lunch. Then she sort of fell asleep and woke up screaming.”
  15.  
  16.         “I see. And you said she was fine when you checked if she was running a fever?” The nurse asked. Felicia nodded. “I may need to call her parents then. If what you’re telling me is correct, then maybe Ms. Bell is suffering from sleep deprivation. Is that perhaps what it may be, Ms. Bell?”
  17.  
  18.         Mary flinched in response. She wasn’t expecting a question to be asked directly to her. “M-Maybe. I haven’t been sleeping much as of late.”
  19.  
  20.         “I see.” Mary could see that she was skeptical, but didn’t comment. What could she say? That the weird and creepy looking ring may or may not be the reason why she’s been having nightmares? “Regardless, I’ll call your parents to update them on the situation. Ms. O’Ridley, I suggest leaving Ms. Bell so she can get some rest-“
  21.  
  22.         “NO SLEEP!” Mary blurted out, fear dripping off of her trembling voice. Both Felicia and the nurse were taken aback at her outburst, and she blushed. “I-I’m fine, really…”
  23.  
  24.         “Ms. Bell, I strongly suggest you get some rest.” The Nurse said, more of an order by her matter-of-fact tone. “Now, if you would follow me, Ms. O’Ridley.” Felicia couldn’t take her eyes off her friend, but nodded. Mary didn’t want her to go. She wanted her to do anything but not leave her side, but Felicia got up anyhow, worry still painted onto her face.
  25.  
  26.         “Just…” Mary still hasn’t let go of her friend’s hand, and Felicia placed her on hand over hers. “Call me if you need me. I’m right outside.”
  27.  
  28.         Mary smiled, almost a mournful smile. “You’ll be in class.”
  29.  
  30.         “But I’ll be back here so fast you’d swear I was just outside.” Felicia smirked, and Mary giggled. But the nurse wasn’t going to have any of it.
  31.  
  32. “Hurry it up.” She barked. “I had to clean up this place after a Succubus dragged her boyfriend here, and I am not cleaning up after you two.”
  33.  
  34.         Embarrassment washed over Mary, and she looked away. But Felicia glared at the smug nurse, her blush turning her face a nice shade of red.
  35.  
  36.         “W-We’re not like that!” Felicia growled, but her voice had a tremble to it that made the nurse only roll her eyes in response. She gritted her teeth, and stormed off after the Kraken. Even as they closed back the curtain around her and left the room, Mary swore she could still hear the raspy voice of her friend using all forms of insults on the nurse. Mary smiled. She knew Ms. Rai always loved to tease her patients, the same way she always loved to dig up on gossip. She probably knew every secret to the school, enough that even the teachers sometimes feared her due to the mountains upon mountains of blackmail she could dig up on everyone. The principal couldn’t fire her in fear of what she might leak, and the students couldn’t harm her due to the counters she could dish out.
  37.  
  38.         For a nurse that loved her job, she truly was scary.
  39.  
  40.         But the thoughts of how much of a backstabber Ms. Rai could be didn’t deteriorate the fact that Mary now sat alone in the nurses’ room. A white curtain blocked her from being able to look around the rest of the large medical room, only confining her to the bed she sat on, the chair that was on her left where Felicia sat, the table with what looked like a bouquet of freshly cut flowers, and the large window on her right. The bright sunlight which shone on her face felt warm, reminding her that the summer season was soon coming to a close and that fall would arrive in a month from now. Even as it shone on her legs through the white blanket that draped over her lower half, it felt almost like a mothers embrace. She smiled in content, and leaned back onto the headboard. The feeling of being confined in a room seemed to diminish, and suddenly she felt as if she was sitting against a large tree trunk. The bark on her back felt rough, yet it felt normal to her. Instead of the feeling of the soft futon bed on her butt and legs, she instead felt the ticking sensation of grass being blown in a gentle breeze. The shade from the tree brush above her granted her a sense of coolness in the warm heat, and she fell into a state of bliss.
  41.  
  42.         Her nose scrunched up, and she opened her eyes in response to the weird smell. She almost expected to open her eyes to the scene of her blissful imagination to be in a flurry of torment and chaos, but instead her eyes were assaulted by the bright sunlight which shone through the window next to her. Although she was now temporarily blinded, Mary sighed. She was back to being inside of the nurses office, and for the first time she wasn’t even remotely attacked by the being which seemed to haunt her at every moment she seemed to close her eyes. She glanced back outside, watching the tree leaves rustle to the calm wind of the beginning of the school year. Relaxed wasn’t the word in which could describe what she felt, but a sense of calmness washed over her like the warm light which bathed her on the nurses’ bed. She glanced back towards the curtains in which she watched her friend and the nurse go towards, and sighed in content. The smell in which shot her out of her blissful dream was nothing more but the smell of freshly brewed coffee Ms. Rai was sipping on the other side of the curtain, her large form casting a shadow through the white curtains. She wasn’t alone, at least not anymore, and she finally got some rest. She even felt refreshed, and her face beamed in joy. Maybe it was a lack of sleep that was causing her to have nightmares, and actually taking the time to sleep and not drift off in class was a well and effective cure. She sighed, and looked upwards at the ceiling. Maybe all in which has happened put too much stress on her and her body was trying to tell her that by giving her nightmares?
  43.  
  44.         No, something was wrong, Mary blinked, and her vision seemed to go cloudy. The white ceiling which was above her seemed to fade in and out of focus, and she began to feel lightheaded. Maybe she truly did have a fever, she thought to herself, clutching her head and looking back down at her lap. Looking upwards probably didn’t help, for now she felt sick. Her stomach churned and her head swam. She felt unbalanced, as if she was teetering on top of a pin, and she held her head in pain. Even as she was looking down into her lap, her focus seemed to shift and fade. The details of the cloth fabric of the white blanket seemed to fade and blur, then return. A simple gaze at her right hand showed more than one, and the amount of fingers seemed meshed and blurred. Dizziness began to set in, and she almost threw up onto the bed then and there. No, Mary thought to herself, she DEFINETLY had a fever. She moved her gaze to the curtain, to Ms. Rai who sat on the other side, and almost threw up once more due to the quick speed in which she turned her head. A call for help, or something, would suffice, but her throat felt hoarse. Maybe it was the bile which seemed to set in her throat that made her unable to speak, and she swallowed hard. The taste was abysmal, and the burn of the stomach acid going down her throat made her cough. If her throat wasn’t already damaged before, it now felt as if it had gone through a blender. But Ms. Rai seemed to not hear her cough, and instead almost seemed to appear even more distant. She stuck a hand out towards the curtain, and it almost seemed as if it faded more and more away. Her cries were more of squeaks as she called for her, but no one heard her.
  45.  
  46.         Darkness was her only answer.
  47.  
  48.         But a light seemed to appear in the infinite darkness which seemed to surround her bed; a light in which Mary stuck her hand towards, in a desperate plea for someone to help her. To save her. Her unfocused vision made the orange light seem to spin and un-focus, but she didn’t care. Even as only squeaks escaped her mouth, as her hand trembled, as her stomach churned, she just wanted the light--To feel the warmth of the light. To bathe in the light. Anything to escape the darkness which intended to engulf her. Her body seemed to almost protest, but she pressed on, ignoring the nagging in her head. And the light seemed to respond, growing closer and closer to her. She could feel its warmth, its comfort in which it could give. She wanted that. She wanted to not feel sick, but to feel fine. She didn’t want to be alone in the darkness, but to be in the light. And even when her body seemed to not move, to be unable to step out of the bed, she felt as if she was moving towards the light. Like a Mothman being drawn, she felt a sense of kindness and friendliness from the orange light, a feeling that reminded her of Felicia. Of her best friend. Of her family. Of her home back in Milkwater. She wanted to be there, she wanted to once again feel the bliss in which she felt in the dream, in what she felt in her memories, in her life. She just wanted to be away from the darkness.
  49.  
  50.         But a growl sent a shiver down her spine. A growl in which made her hand which tried to reach for the light freeze in its place. A growl in which Mary was unable to forget. Her eyes seemed to finally focus, and she found the origins of the monstrous growl which shook the bed she sat upon. The light in which she wanted to grasp wasn’t what she thought it was. Her sickly state seemed to fade, and now she could hear it. The sound of metal claws thumping onto the pitch black floor. Her vision seemed to return and now she could see it; the intricate details of the metallic beast that was slowly walking towards her. The piercing orange eyes that glared at her. The fiery mane that shone the bright orange light Mary wanted to hold dear. The metal claws that scraped the ground as it walked over towards her, and the long metallic tail what swished and turned. Its teeth were bare, its lips pulled back. Even its gums seemed to be made of metal. Mary retracted her hand which was now beginning to shake, and she didn’t even realise she had been crying for so long until she felt the drop of her tears onto her hand.
  51.  
  52.         “No…”
  53.  
  54.         The beast roared, and Mary shielded her ears from its bloodcurdling cry which shook the bed she sat on. Its roar sounded like a mix of a lion and a bear, with hints of metal being scraped and sawed. Goosebumps rippled on her arms, and her hair seemed to stand on end. Her teeth were clenched as hard as she could to avoid screaming, but her fear took hold. Her heart was racing, beating faster than the sound of the beast’s legs picking up speed as it ran towards her. Thumps and scraped of its metal paws slamming against the ground were already enough to tell her that opening her eyes was above and beyond a bad idea. The feeling of its radiating heat, even when it was so far away from her, was increasing, and she didn’t even realise when she was in the fetal position. Her knees brushed her chin and her legs pushed her breasts closer to her chest, but it didn’t matter to her. For even as she tried to seem small, to maybe divert the beasts gaze off of her, she could feel it. Its eyes seemed to tear her apart straight to her soul, and her tears were flowing more freely that any sort of river. Even as her throat felt dry, even as her heart was pounding against her chest in a desperate plea to escape, even as her body was paralyzed with fear, Mary screamed.
  55.  
  56.         “SOMBODY HELP ME!”
  57.  
  58.         Mary awoke with a scream, a scream which turned into her gasping for air. Her hair draped over her blue eyes, drenched in sweat and sticking to her face. Her body felt as if she just came out of the shower, but in the pain as if she had just came back from swimming classes. Her heart pounded against her chest faster than she could breathe, and her throat felt as if she hasn’t drunk anything in years. She coughed and hacked, clutching her chest in pain. The sound of thumping, as if someone was running, almost sent a shiver down her spin. But the sound of a door opening made her sigh in relief.
  59.  
  60.         “Honey, are you OK?” It was her mother. It was her own mother. She seemed to not even care how she lost herself inside of her mother’s large breasts; Mary hugged her mother as if she hasn’t seen her in years. Through hiccups and whimpers, she cried into her mother’s bosom, and her mother cooed in response, petting her silver and black hair to give her comfort and assurance that she was safe.
  61.  
  62.         Mary didn’t even know when or how she managed to be in her room, but she didn’t care. It was a question like that was irrelevant at the time. Although it was hard to fully hug her mother, she didn’t care. All she did was cry. And cry she did. And her mother didn’t care how much Mary, her teenage daughter, seemed to drench her shirt in snot and tears; she was her daughter, and she was OK. She stroked her fingers through her hair, cooing her that everything is alright now. That she was back home. That she was safe. And Mary believed it, because she knew it was true. Even through her muffled cries she managed to croak out small yet incoherent words. But her mother continued to comfort her.
  63.  
  64.         “It’s OK sweetie,” She seemed to say on repeat. “Mommy’s here.”
  65.  
  66.         Through minutes that felt more like hours, Mary cried. She didn’t care if she might stain her mother’s shirt, she continued to cry. Through hiccups and gasps for air, her tears flowed freely from her blue eyes and her wails could be heard almost throughout her own house. Her chest heaved and her throat began to feel dry, but she continued to cry into the embrace of her mother. She heard when her father stepped in, and she felt her mother’s hand wave him off, as if to tell him that she’ll handle it, but she didn’t care. All she cared about was the fact that this wasn’t a dream. This was real. This was reality, and not the nightmare that has been haunting her. This was her mother, and not the beast that threatened to kill her every time she closed her eyes. And even as she shivered, as her body trembled in her mother’s arms, the feeling of her embrace calmed her. The safety of the warmth her mother gave her gave her a sense of security. Mary gazed upwards from the confines of her mother’s breasts, and looked into the soft yet pretty eyes that met hers.
  67.  
  68.         “You look like a mess.” Her mother smiled. Mary could feel the tears that covered her face and the snot that dripped from her nose. She blushed in response.
  69.  
  70.         “I-I know…” Her voice was shaky and sounded more like a squeak, but her mother gave her the same smile she always did when she fell or skimmed her knee. The warm smile that made her heart melt and her body feel at ease. “Mom-“
  71.  
  72.         “First, let’s get you-“ Her mother looked down at her snot and tears soaked shirt. “-Us cleaned up. Then we’ll talk.”
  73.  
  74.         Mary wanted to say something, but a simple nod was enough.
  75.  
  76.         It wasn’t that Mary didn’t want to tell her mother everything. It wasn’t that she wanted to not give her mother anything but the truth. But how could you explain it? How could you explain that you took a crazy armoured Jinko to the hospital, somehow managed to get a gothic looking ring stuck on her finger, and ever since then have been getting reoccurring nightmares of the same metallic beast trying to kill her? Farfetched would be an understatement, and her mother would’ve believed it anyhow. But considering how her mother told her that the minute Ms. Rai called her house she called her father and rushed to the school to see if she was ok, and the fact that her mother had been waiting for her to wake up for almost the entire time, to tell her everything would cause her mother’s heart to fail in worry, and Mary couldn’t allow adding any more things for her mother to worry about.
  77.  
  78.         So she lied. She didn’t technically lie, more of ‘beat around the bush’. But she didn’t exactly tell her mother the truth either. She didn’t tell her about what happened the day before, nor did she tell her where she managed to find such a ring. She lied about her having any nightmares, and instead said that she hasn’t been getting any sleep as of late. Mary didn’t know what Ms. Rai told her mother, but judging by her reaction it was basically the same thing in which she told her. So it wasn’t technically a lie, it was more of confirming the information her mother had heard. She wouldn’t actually lie to her mother, far from it. Mary always told her mother the truth, even if it would get her or her friends in trouble. And due to this, ‘Mrs. Bell’ always knew that no matter what she would say, it would always be the truth. Her mother did have the ability to see if Mary was lying, and it wasn’t hard to tell if she was considering she was a terrible liar. But generally Mary always told the truth.
  79.  
  80.         Generally.
  81.  
  82.         So she wasn’t lying. She was telling only half of the full story. It wasn’t lying for there was nothing really to lie about. Her having trouble sleeping was the truth. For weeks she’s been having trouble sleeping, mainly due to the fact that she always slept in during summer vacation, and it messed up her sleep schedule beyond repair. And she wasn’t lying when she said she found the lion-faced ring, for she really did find it. Where, Mary couldn’t tell, but she just found it in the morning. On her finger. And it wasn’t a lie that she was having bad dreams, for she was having bad dreams. She didn’t tell her mother what they were about, mainly because she didn’t know herself, but she didn’t lie. That was the most important thing. She didn’t lie. She told only half the truth, but she didn’t lie. She never lied.
  83.  
  84.         “Are you sure you don’t want to sleep with me and your father?”
  85.  
  86.         Mary blushed in response. “I-I’ll be fine, Mom, really. I’ll just sleep with a light on.” She was young and afraid of the monster under the bed. And in the closet. It wasn’t anything indecent. She was a kid at the time.
  87.  
  88.         “I know you haven’t been getting any rest, but try and get some, sweetie?” Her mother ordered. But her bubbly tone made it hard to distinguish. “You still have school in the morning!”
  89.  
  90.         School, Mary thought to herself. How was she supposed to explain this to Felicia tomorrow?
  91.  
  92.         “Good night, Mom.” Mary gave her mother a tired wave, and her mother blew her a kiss as she closed the door. She almost missed her mother giving her a kiss on the forehead before she went to bed.
  93.  
  94.         Mary fell onto her soft bed with a pomf. She wanted to sleep, she really did. But the nagging fear in the back of her head of the beast that would once again cause her to wake up in a cold swear and screaming caused her to clench her blanket closer to her heart. Just thinking of it made her heart race, and even when her room was illuminated by the soft like which sat on her desk, she felt as if she was being watched by it here and now. Her recent dream didn’t help with her fear. The fact that she didn’t even know what was a dream and what was reality anymore scared her, and without thinking she curled herself into a ball. Her body was shaking, and her mind was jumping to conclusions. What if she was asleep right now? What if she was dreaming of the fact that she was hugging her mother and telling her everything? No, Mary thought to herself. She was awake. And she did talk to her mother. She’d know her mother’s warm embrace to know if she was dreaming or not, and her fear seemed to subside. Yes, she said to herself, this wasn’t a dream. This was reality. This wasn’t an imaginary plane of existence, in which her mind created, but her real bed, her real room, her real blankets in which she hugged closer to her chest. This was reality, and not a dream.
  95.  
  96.         Her eyes slowly set upon the ring that was on her finger. And so was this, she thought. This was reality. This scorching hot metal band which what Mary assumed was the cause of all her nightmares, was real. Her mother commented on it, Felicia commented on it, and she swore Ms. Rai glanced at it a couple times while she was giving Mary a formal check-up back at school. It was real, and not something imaginary. But from where? Where did she find it? How did she find it? How did she not notice it until she woke up earlier today? So many questions, and yet they all remain unanswered. Her mind was a flurry of activity she almost thought it was impossible for her to even try and attempt to sleep. She wanted to know the origins of her nightmares, but that only went towards the ring. But where was the ring even from? Trying to think back always led to the Jinko, but where was SHE even from? And better yet, was she even OK? Her sky blue eyes glanced out her windows, and seemed to sparkle in the light of the twinkling stars that made the night sky glow. Her mother told her she’d been asleep almost the entire day, and that Felicia even ran here after school to check on her. She blushed at the thought. Her mother even told her that she wanted to stay here and wait for her to awaken, but Felicia’s father called her home. Sometimes Mary swore her friend was a Kobold more than a Wererabbit at times. But then again, Mary herself was more of a Dormouse than anything.
  97.  
  98.         The peaceful thought seemed to calm her aching brain’s flurry of questions, and she yawned in response. It had been a busy day, even if most of that day was her waking up and screaming. Her eyelids began to feel heavy and the feeling of exhaustion began to wash over her. Without thinking, she got up and turned off the lamp on her desk, sending the room into darkness save from the starry sky which shone through her white curtains and bathed the room in a deep midnight blue. Blindly, she stumbled towards her bed, yawning once more and aimlessly rubbing her eyes, before getting under the confines of her blankets. The feeling of the soft pillow on her head and neck made her smile in content. Finally, she was finally sleeping on something comfortable. The school desk was anything but comfortable, and the nurses’ beds were mostly there for patients and not for actual comfort. Her cheeks turned a rosy shade of red at Ms. Rai’s remark earlier about a succubus. To think someone would so something like that in school! But she didn’t dwindle on the thought for any longer. She was tired, and her body seemed to agree with her as her eyelids closed. She thought she saw the glimpse of something green and glowing, but that was something she could deal with in the morning.
  99.  
  100.         Unfortunately, what she couldn’t deal with in the morning was the feeling of something crawling onto her bed. Her eyes slowly began to open, and her field of vision was slightly blurry. She seemed to be on her side, her clock facing towards her. It was 1:15 in the morning. She only slept for three hours and now she was awake once more. She really couldn’t get any sleep. Mary was about to close her eyes and go back to bed when she paused. There was something next to her-- A long, hairy, and striped something. She looked more, and realise there was a paw right next to her pillow, clutching onto her bed. She followed the fur covered arm upwards, and almost froze in fear. Merely inches away from her face was another face. Two piercing green eyes stared into hers, and the intensity made her wince. Her long brown hair seemed to drape over her head, mixing with Mary’s silver and black hair. What looked to be bandages seemed to cover most of her face, with her forehead bandaged around by a long white bandage that seemed to be unravelled. Mary tried to look away from the intense eyes that looked into hers and looked down to see that the Jinko that was over her seemed to be in a hospital gown, its colour undistinguishable due to the light of the night. Knowing hospitals, it meant she was bare and naked, and she quickly looked back towards the eyes of the tiger to avoid seeing anything ‘lewd’. But the gaze of the beast wasn’t any better. Mary swallowed hard, and the Jinko’s stoic face didn’t waver. She went to open her mouth, but a paw quickly engulfed half her face, including her mouth.
  101.  
  102.         “Make a noise, and I’ll kill you.” Her voice was raspy yet commanding. A hint of an accent could be heard, but Mary was too busy shaking in fear to even comment. That and her mouth was covered. “Do you understand?”
  103.  
  104.         Mary nodded.
  105.  
  106.         The Jinko continued. “You have something of mine.” There was a growl in her voice. “I want it back.” She never left eye contact even as Mary looked down at her paw as if indication to tell her she can’t speak. “If you yell, I WILL kill you.”
  107.  
  108.         Mary gulped. As if her telling her the first time wasn’t enough to make her believe her, now she put more emphasis. So instead she stuck her right hand out from under the covers. Unfortunately, her captor took it as an attack, and grabbed her arm. Mary winced at the iron grip that seemed to be not even a centimeter off of breaking her bones. She winced once again when it was slammed onto her bed, right next to her. The Jinko leaned closer, and the heat of her body next to Mary’s made her blush. Not out of embarrassment -that was secondary- but out of the fact that she was really warm. The growl from under her throat made her wince and the Jinko spoke once more.
  109.  
  110.         “Give me what I want, and I’ll ignore the fact that you tried to attack me.”
  111.  
  112.         Tried to attack you, Mary thought to herself. She was trying to give her what she wanted! She motioned her eyes towards her hand, but got a more tightening grip in response, causing her to wince. She looked at the Jinko’s paw on her mouth, and got a growl.
  113.  
  114.         “I mean it.” She said. Slowly, she lifted the paw off her mouth, and Mary gasped for air. She could barely breathe with her massive paw covering her mouth and her nose, and she gasped and puffed for air. Even though it was dark and her stoic face didn’t change, Mary could see the blush that formed on her face. “Sorry.”
  115.  
  116.         She was about to say something when the Jinko seemed to wince in pain. She tried to crawl off of Mary, but instead fell off her bed and onto the ground with a loud thud. Even though she tried not to roar in pain, Mary felt it, and tossed her sheets off of her slim form to help the Jinko up. Even as the growl and hisses, followed by mumbles of curses of her weakness could be heard, she couldn’t stop her from helping her off the ground and onto the chair that sat next to her desk. The way she was huffing and heavily breathing worried Mary to the bone, and she reached to turn on the light on her desk. But it was there she saw the extent of her attacker’s wounds.
  117.  
  118.         Even though the Jinko wore a soft pink hospital gown, it seemed to have wet patches of what Mary assumed was her own blood. All the action and moving probably opened what the doctors stitched closed, and by the way she was hissing in pain, she wasn’t far off. Her copper orange and pitch black stripes seemed to be stained by blood, the same blood that soaked her bandages. Her head was bandaged, but it was unraveled, hanging low with her brown hair that draped over her eyes which Mary no doubt knew were closed, save for the one that peaked through her hair and glared at Mary from afar. Her left paw clutched her right side, and Mary remembered how she was clutching it the same way when they met in the alleyway. Her right ear seemed clipped, and was freely bleeding onto her hair, the crimson blood making her hair slick and wet. She overexerted herself when she should’ve been recovering in the hospital, especially since she was covered in many cuts and bruises the last she saw her. Even though some seemed to heal, faster than any, she was still heavily wounded and bleeding fast. Mary seemed frozen in time, staring down at the Jinko who breathed through ragged breaths.
  119.  
  120.         “To see me in such a weak state…” The Jinko breathed. “Sticking me down… Would be easy…” What Mary did next the Jinko expected. She ran past her and out the door, probably to call the cops and get her arrested for breaking and entering or to send her back to the hospital for, she shivered, more needles. Taking them out when she tried to escape was harder than it looked. And fighting off the drowsiness was more difficult than the prideful Jinko imagined.
  121.  
  122.         What she didn’t expect was how fast Mary seemed to rush back into her room, closing the door as quietly as she could behind her. In her hands was a box of what looked like first aid. Going to the bathroom to splash cold water in her face was easy for Mary, but trying to tell her mother that she was OK was harder than it looked. Even though the door to the bathroom was closed, when her mother knocked to ask her if she was OK made her heart froze. She knew it was impossible for her mother not to hear the loud thunk of a full grown woman falling onto the hard wooden floor, and she knew telling her mother that a 6ft tall Jinko managed to break into their house and demanded for what Mary assumed was her ring’s return wouldn’t sit well with her or her father. So she lied. Something in which if the door wasn’t closed would be nigh impossible for Mary to do. Even though her voice wavered, and her heart raced at the fact that this was the first time she’d ever lie to her mother, she told her that she fell out of her bed by accident. There was a pause, a long one at that which felt almost like an hour, but her mother just told her to be careful and went to bed. Simple. Quick. She actually bought it.
  123.  
  124.         But even as Mary took a seat next to the Jinko which seemed to watch her intensely, her gut wretched and churned. Lying never sat well with Mary, and it was the reason how most knew if she was lying or not. She felt like she was going to puke, something in which would alert her mother and cause her to barge into the room to see a bleeding Jinko sitting on her daughters chair while her daughter puked into the trash bin. Of course, most would think that her mother would rush to her daughter’s side and hold her close while calling for her husband to deal with the intruder would be normal. But her mother wasn’t a Holstaurus. She was a Minotaur. A Minotaur who even though had the motherly aura which filled Mary with a feeling of warmth and comfort also defended her children with much malice that the thought of threatening her children would wound the antagonist mentally. So to say that the first thing her mother would do was pull her daughter away from the beast in her room was a lie.
  125.  
  126.         “Hah,” The Jinko sneered, which was followed by a wince. Her chest must hurt. “So you’re going to… torture me? You have… more guts than you look…”
  127.  
  128.         “I'm not going to torture you.” Mary poured some rubbing alcohol onto a towel, filling the air with the pungent smell of the cleaning chemical. She didn't even hear how un-wavered her voice was, or how commanding it sounded. “I’m going to save you.” She stuck a thick looking piece of wood into the Jinko’s mouth, and whispered for her to bite down.
  129.  
  130.         At first, the Jinko didn’t know what it was for, giving her a look of confusion as she bit onto the piece of wood. Mary ignored the look she was giving her and began to unbandage the bandages on her arms. The smell of rust and metal wafted her senses, but she powered through. Mary was squeamish. She always has and always will be. The look of blood made her face turn pale and her eyes shrink. But even though she was afraid of cuts and blood, she still wanted to become a nurse. So even though fresh blood was before her, even though the look of the Jinko’s blood soaked bandaged and fur was right in front of her, she powered through. She tossed the blood soaked bandages into a bowl, and began to wipe away at the blood and the wound with the alcohol soaked towel. Her ears flinched at the sound of the Jinko roaring in pain, and she glared at her to be quiet. She could see that her teeth were locked onto the wood, but turned back towards the wound. She patted and rubbed away as much as the blood as she could next to and around the wound, barely cleaning off the blood stains on her orange and black fur. The Jinko was clutching onto the chair in pain, but Mary looked at her.
  131.  
  132.         “Put pressure here and hold this.” Her voice was commanding, and the Jinko obliged.
  133.  
  134.         Mary ignored as the Jinko hissed at the pain, and took out a roll of bandages from the first aid kit. She lifted the Jinko’s hand off the wound on her arm, and began to wrap the bandage around and around. She didn’t care if it was a bit tight, as evident to the look on the Jinko’s face. Eventually she ripped the bandage and taped it with some medical tape before sighing. The Jinko seemed to also look a bit better, but Mary wasn’t done. Even as the Jinko was about to take the wood out of her mouth, Mary pushed it back in. She went back to digging into the first aid kit, and soon found what she was looking for. It wasn’t that she’s never used a needle and thread before, but to do it on a live person made her a bit wary. But it didn’t matter now in a dire situation such as this. She pulled the medical mask over her mouth and pulled on the rubber gloves. They were clean by the looks of it, as if they were never used once. By time she turned to face the Jinko, needle and thread in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other, the Jinko looked as if she’d seen a ghost. But Mary gave her a glare, a glare which made the prideful 6ft tall beast almost shake in fear.
  135.  
  136.         “If you keep still,” Mary’s voice wavered, and the Jinko didn’t like it one bit. “it won’t hurt as much.”
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