89 Chapel Days · Scene 7

Chapel Days

Chapel Days · Scene 7 · Tender b
The Chapel ~ Interior ~ Upper floors
Early Autumn ~ Late Morning
Stained glass and steam pipes
Electricity and manual mechanisms
Ivy growing anywhere dirt could gather and sunlight filtered in
Though the nuns complained, they were calm and at ease
A simple single suite sickroom kept clean and ready for any patient

n a world that normally used magic to solve most problems it seemed unlikely that traditional medicine would be practiced at all. This was not true however as a combination of most people not being able to open their Ambrosial Gates and knowledge of medicine discovered in ruins of the ancients brought it into use in most ages. Though being able to put upon a member of the Cardinal Church for healing magic was not completely uncommon, even most members of the church were lacking in the ability to actually cast magic. Those who could were quite valuable and those who could not frequently took up the study of medicine alongside theological studies. Maye was one such individual who would have loved to learn magic, but she could not open her own Ambrosial Gate and thus understood the importance of traditional medicine. There was however something she did not understand.

“You’ve left me confused heretic. I am not sick, nor to such an extent as to need the aid of a Medicine Sister or to visit the sicroom.”

“No, but you are a person and changing your shoes should be done in as clean an environment as possible.”

“I still have no qualms with waiting for the Chapel to arrive at a village we can trade with to deal with my shoes.”

“With them in this shape? I’d think that they hurt too much to even walk on.”

Pulling Maye into the sickroom, Chain took a seat in an available chair that she pulled up beside the centaur maid. Lifting up one of Maye’s front legs and making the centaur blush, Chain pointed at the shoddy condition of the shoe nailed to her hoof. Looking down at her troubled hoof for only a moment before looking away Maye huffed dismissively.

“I was a farmhand before I joined the Church so torn up shoes like these are of little trouble.”

“Is that so…?”

Chain did not seem too focused on Maye’s words as she put a tool she had gathered amongst many others when she dragged Maye up to the upper floors to quick work. In what seemed an instant she had the removed scrap of metal serving as Maye’s shoe in hand and freed from the centaur’s hoof. Even with the shoe removed however, she did not allow Maye to put her foot down.

“I bet when you lived on the farm though it was better on your hooves. How can the sisters here just ignore the condition your hooves are in? This is terrible. You’re not the only centaur here are you? And what about horses? You had shoeing tools here so someone–”

“Please don’t compare me to a horse heretic.”

“Ah–! Sorry…”

Hanging her head Chain released Maye’s leg. Maye instantly regretted it as her hoof was in worse shape than she realized and without the scrap of metal that remained of the shoe she was completely off balance. She tried to put on a huffy air, but it wasn’t fooling Chain who just watched her sadly.

“I know nuns aren’t really expected to know about blacksmithing, but it’s not like the chimeric races are rare or anything. I’d say they’re the most common humans out there so being equipped to help everyone no matter how different they are should be a priority.”

“This situation is growing more humiliating by the moment. First the horrible condition of my hooves and now I’m being lectured by a maid who is barely more than a child when I am the one who should be teaching.  To think hunting wolves and small monsters would have provided me the skills to become a member of a group who frequently find themselves engaging in combat. It feels like it’s been ages since I last stood before a class sharing with them the knowledge of the world.”

“You’re a teacher? Really?”

Chain looked up at Maye with her massive sea gem green eyes and seemed like she could not believe that the centaur was indeed a teacher. Her patience being tested, Maye strained to stay civil as Chain lifted her foot again and began work on preparing her hoof to receive a new shoe.

“Is there a reason you find that difficult to believe?”


Chain tried to avoid saying anything, but it took Maye very little effort to figure out what was going on. Though Chain could avoid making eye contact with Maye as she worked on her hoof, Drop who had remained quiet since they entered the sickroom was less hidden. Floating freely in the air, her eyes were firmly on Maye’s horse half, which while proportionate to Maye’s icaran half, was too small for an adult icaran or similar sized human to ride as though she were a horse. A twitch appeared in Maye’s eye as she struggled to refrain from acting out for fear that Chain may break her leg if she moved suddenly.

“Yes heretic, I know I’m small. Exceedingly for my age no less. I might as well be a pygmy, but even I’m not that small. It must be difficult for you to believe that I’ve seen twenty-nine springs.”

“Eh– Really I wouldn’t have guessed you’re that old! Wo~w! It’s a good thing you worked on a farm then or you’d look more like a child than I do.”

Looking up with wide eyes, Chain marveled at Maye’s youthfulness. Maye regretted immediately that she told Chain and hid her face in her hand in a desperate attempt to stay civil and act her age. Choosing her words carefully, she spoke deliberately as she tried to counter Chain.

“I may be blessed with a youthful visage, but I assure you I feel far older than I am some days. That I have to be lectured by a maid so much younger than I makes me wonder if I have a right to yearn for the days I once taught. It is perhaps time for me to be a scholar myself again for a time.”

Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater


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