He took his staff in hand, and made sure to smooth his robe. While looking presentable wouldn’t help him in the war, it was absolutely necessary while he was going to war. It was only befitting of his position. As soon as the mirror showed him as presentable as he could be, if a bit older than he liked, he started out to take care of a few tasks that needed dealing with before he headed out. However, just as he reached his door, his assistant showed up. That was never a good sign.
“…did you hear me, sir?” His assistant waited patiently for the response.
He thought for a moment. He hadn’t really been paying attention, but he would still be able to recall what was said. As he did, his face fell. “You said… my father?”
“That’s right sir. This might be your last chance.”
It looked like a few minor tasks were going to remain undone for the foreseeable future. He wouldn’t have it said that he didn’t know how to prioritize what was important.
When he arrived, his father smiled as only his father could in such a situation. “Good to see you son. Looking good,” his father said sweeping his eyes over his form, “There’s just one thing keeping you from being a dapper young man, loved by all the ladies.” His father leaned forward in the bed, only slightly, and fake-whispered, “You’ve got a grey hair. Just there.” At that, he formed his hands into a sort of curved bridge, and mimicked the top of a sphere.
He laughed, but it was hard to do so. Yes, he was old, but his father was much older. His father was dying, and while he had saved a number of people from death with his magic, he couldn’t do anything here. “Well, I know at least one charming lady who rather likes my hair. That’s more than enough.” There wasn’t much else to say. Everything had already been said.
His father smiled again. “Well, I know you have important things to do. I just wanted to see you before you went. Now… it’s time for a nap.” His father lay back into his pillow and closed his eyes.
He sighed. It was just like his father, to treat death like a nap. Though this had been coming for some time, it still hurt when it happened. If there was something he could have done, he would have, but that was beyond his capabilities, which probably meant it was beyond magic, or at least any magic he could imagine. He stood up and took his staff from where it leaned, stepping out the door. His assistant was waiting there with the carriage. “Well then. There is a war to get to, and it wouldn’t do for me to be late.” As he rode off, he couldn’t stop thinking of his father, even though the war was more important.
“Father!” William exclaimed as he woke up. He shook his head. That person wasn’t his father. It was just a dream. But… then he remembered. He looked around. He was in a small room, lying on a bed. It didn’t look like something a proper hospital or such would have, but rather just a small bedroom. In fact, small was the best definition, because the bed seemed a bit too short for him. He got up. He merely felt a bit tired, but was otherwise fine. His father though… he hadn’t been in a good state. William would have liked to say he was sure he was alive after what he’d done… but that wasn’t the case.
As he stepped out the door, he saw the young girl his father had saved. William nodded to himself. That made sense. At the sound of the door opening, she turned toward him. “Ah, mister, you’re awake!” Mister! Really, at his age… his apparent age.
He smiled, though he wasn’t sure if he could be happy just yet. “That’s right. How is…” He couldn’t find the words, even though they were quite simple. Fortunately, he was rescued by one of the other few doors that led to this small main section of the house opening up.
A woman stepped out- presumably the girl’s mother, or maybe a big sister. “Oh, you’re awake! We weren’t sure when… we only just got you here.” She looked around nervously. “Ah, your father is in here.” She motioned for him to come.
He walked in, to see a man who was presumably the father of the young girl, and what William would bet was his room, and his bed. In it, William’s father lay. He was pale, to the point his skin was almost pinkish instead of red… but he was breathing. William could tell, because it was noisy and raspy and sounded profoundly uncomfortable… but it was happening. Upon looking, he had bandages wrapped around his chest, but the fact that no blood had soaked through them was a sign that at least some of what William did worked. He couldn’t see the wounds now, but he imagined there would be a nasty scar the way he tried to repair it. The man spoke quietly after William had some time to take everything in. “Your father is a brave man… and lucky that his son is a healer. Thank both of you so much for saving my daughter.” The man’s eyes teared up at that.
At this point, William wasn’t feeling emotional anymore. Maybe it was because he was exhausted, but he ended up in more of a cynical mood. He wasn’t really a healer, but he doubted saying that would be believed. “Well, he’s the one who saved her. I just helped my father. Still, I’m glad your daughter is alright.” Of course, the biggest reason for that was the soldier didn’t really care what happened. Someone got in the way, someone got hit with a hammer. He couldn’t be bothered to do more than that. “Would you mind if my father stayed here, at least overnight?” William knew that they would be more than willing- unless they were the least grateful people possible, but it was polite to ask.
“Of course! Of course. If there’s anything else we can do to thank you…”
William shook his head. “That’s all for now, though he might think of something later.” William grinned, “Though, I imagine he might say something akin to ‘remember to buy goods from Rutten Farm!’ If you’ll excuse me though, I need to go out for a bit.” William planned to buy a healing potion. Though most of them were useless junk, albeit probably better than placebos, some of them were good for the situation his father was in. He needed to replenish his blood, and certain liquid concoctions were good for providing the proper nutrients for that… and easy to digest.