Inheritor Of Magic: The Magi King

Chapter 150 150 Healing The Locals
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Slowly, a procession of mutants came out to join their journey. Almost all had some sort of visible injury on them that wasn't healing properly, and Wolfe began to wonder what sort of rough life these people had in the wastes.

Scrounging off army units could be tough, but surely there were other options. They had to survive somehow when nobody was sending expeditions into the Frozen Waste.

"Are there always this many injured who aren't healing well?" Wolfe asked.

"This is just the ones who are on active patrol within a ten kilometres radius. So a few nomads and the scouts from two villages. Pretty much everyone is wounded all the time. We're not exactly top of the food chain out here."

Wolfe considered that for a moment. "Are the other inhabitants of the area really that smart? Or do you just lack the resources to overcome their strength?"

"The smaller forms of feral demons are rare in these parts but smart and cruel. The major problem our villages face is that the monsters are so much stronger than we are that we can't stop them. The only villages that do well have obtained magical devices and a captured witch to use them.

Don't look at me like that. We won't try to steal yours. That's suicidal. But I can't guarantee that we won't all come to hide at your house if things go bad.

We all hide underground for safety, but there are still badgers and other burrowing monsters to consider. We can deal with those as long as they don't show up in large numbers. It's the army and the herds of monsters they like to lead toward the Witches' borders that are the problem.

They don't even hunt them, just chase them around to bother everyone else."

Her rant about the disadvantages of not being at the top of the food chain continued until they reached the cliff where Wolfe's new cave was carved.

"This is a bad spot. Too close to the border and too close to the army's trails." She pointed out.

"That's why we're here. To spot the army when they move toward the border. But I'll call my friend out, and we will try to help who we can."

"I will organize them by contribution." She agreed.

"Why not by urgency?"

"We can make more young. But strong villagers are important."

Wolfe decided to let it slide. Their ways were their ways. Instead, he stuck his head in and called for Priya and Stephanie.

"Can you come up for a bit? I brought a bunch of injured mutants with me, and they'll make great allies if they survive." ๐‘“๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐“ฎ๐“Œ๐‘’๐’ท๐˜ฏโ„ด๐‘ฃ๐“ฎ๐“.๐’ธโ„ด๐˜ฎ

"I'm so excited. This will be great if they can heal us." One of the mutants began, then trailed off into yips and barks, looking confused.

She went silent as Priya came out of the cave and began to speak, making the mutants nearby all cover their ears.

"It's the curse. They hear shrieking when I speak, and they can't speak with a witch present. Originally they couldn't at all, but it seems that the curse is fading as the generations pass. What did they need?"

"They need healing, and they'll give you potion ingredients if you can make them for their villages. They will do much more of our job than we can if we can keep them alive.

They don't have any sort of medicine, and they wouldn't know how to use it if they did, so they're getting sick from everything, as far as I can tell." Wolfe explained.

"I have the unit's [Healing Ward]. Tell them to stand close together." Priya agreed, going along with Wolfe's crazy plan to befriend the local mutants.

"I need everyone to stand as close together as possible so she can heal you. Try to keep the same diseases and injuries together." Wolfe ordered, causing chaos in the recently reorganized group.

They complied, though, and as soon as they were in tight clusters, Priya began to cast her healing magic.

Most of the injuries were infected minor wounds, which cleared up in seconds, then various illnesses, and finally, the major injuries and broken bones. In under a minute, every mutant in the group looked noticeably more healthy.

The leader of the group hopped down from the pile of supplies, giving Priya a hug while making happy whimpering and yipping noises like a fox.

She took that as thanks and returned back underground, allowing the mutants to speak again as soon as she passed the first room and out of easy earshot.

"That curse sucks so much. The magi thought it would be funny if we had a permanent reminder that they viewed betrayal as unacceptable behaviour for civilized beings and didn't want those who attacked them to understand each other. Then, it mutated as it interacted with the other legacies of the war and the radiation, and everything kind of blended together into newly evolved but unstable species.

So they modified an interrogation spell that they learned from the Witches to cover what is now the Wastes, preventing the mundane humans from communicating with witches and vice versa. My Grandmother told me that in the early days, you couldn't even write a note within the borders of the Wastes. The spell scrambled your letters if you tried.

It's a mix of Air Magic and their corrupted demonic magic, and even being able to bark is an improvement on the enforced silence of the early years. At least they can tell if we're mad now." She explained.

Wolfe decided that this might be the wrong time to tell her the fox noises were adorable.

"Since all your people are healed for now, I will load this into our den, and your teams can go recover the rest from the army camp," Wolfe suggested.

"The ones who didn't need healing are doing that. Do you want help? We can load everything underground for you really easily."

"The tunnel to the right from the first room is the storage area. Place it all in there."

The mutants formed a line that extended from the pile of pilfered gear and down underground and then began passing over the crates. The heaviest ones needed multiple people since they didn't have Wolfe's gravity magic, but it only took a few minutes to pack and sort everything into the Den's storage.

"We still owe you, so we will help you keep track of army people when we see them. Curtis, the one with the mole head, says you can build a whole village here safely if you aren't afraid of the Witches. Just don't start above ten meters underground, and you'll be hidden from the army, but you'll need the magic vent fans." She explained while the mutants began to disappear out of sight, headed home.

"You know where to find us. Be safe out there."

Wolfe waved goodbye as the locals ran away, unwilling to be caught above ground so soon after being healed, except for a few more capable sorts, like the larger dog breeds, who weren't riding their motorcycles today.

Wolfe returned below ground, where Priya was waiting for him, with a smile and a hug. "Good work getting the supplies. But did you know that your new friend in green isn't a mutant? She's a Kitsune, a type of fox demon. Witches can feel the difference in their presence when we're nearby. They're known to be cunning and dangerous. Did she ask for anything in return?"

"Nope. She says she still owes us. But she did warn me that the mutants are likely to come here to hide if they're in trouble because we're stronger than they are."

Priya nodded. "They don't easily leave their villages, though. It's their hunting teams that the witches watch out for. But first, let's see what you found. A few more raids like this, and we will be able to rebuild our camp supplies in no time."

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