A Refusal of Power

(A direct follow-up to this)

It was only through the grace of the Twelve that Basteaux was still alive. He knew full well that what had happened the day prior could have, even perhaps should have killed him where he’d stood. Yet he lived. His entire body ached and he would be forever marked, but he lived.

There were bandages wrapped around Basteaux’s torso. The swathes of linen protected him, keeping the angry red trails of what would eventually be new scars from rubbing against the bedclothes. The wound was huge, spreading along his left side like tentacles that wrapped around to his lower back and tried to creep up his chest. It bled not at all: instead it was completely cauterized like a massive brand.

The Master had said little since Basteaux awoke. When he did speak, there was a little curl of a sneer that touched the hard line of his mouth. The attempted spell had been a disaster due to Basteaux’s failing. He had cost his Master not only the gil necessary to have his wounds treated, but the physical labor and aether expenditure that had been required to get him back home as well as protect him from additional backlash. How his Master would exact repayment was yet to be seen, and Basteaux already dreaded finding out.

Just climbing out of bed left Basteaux shaky and panting like he’d run several malms. His knees threatened to buckle with every step as he carefully made his way to the Master’s study. He already hurt; it would be better to accept whatever punishment was coming now than to wait until he’d healed once only to have to recover again.

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