William rushed to get to his father as fast as he could, without pushing anyone into the street and causing another incident. Though it wasn’t far, he only managed to get there after the carriage and guards finished passing, and people spread out again. Some people were crowded around Barend, but William pushed his way through. “Father!” He knelt down by him, unsure what to do. He heard ragged breathing, and there was blood everywhere it seemed. Perhaps if the hammer strike had truly been aimed for him, he would already be dead… but William imagined it had been aimed at the head of the young girl. Barend certainly hadn’t gotten in the way on accident. No, knowing his father, he’d taken the blow on purpose. Perhaps he had been counting on his strong body to keep him safe, but it obviously hadn’t been enough. William swore.
Okay, what did he need to do? What was the biggest problem here? The blood… that might not have been it, but it was the first thing he thought to deal with. He continued swearing, and with all the languages under his belt, he knew quite a few such words. Even so, he gathered mana. He couldn’t think of any words for a chant, and he couldn’t be bothered to hide what he was doing from those around, if they even really understood. Blood. Blood was a liquid much like water. More viscous, but not too hard to make flow as he wanted. The blood moved as he willed it, though it didn’t take well to flowing back into a body. William ended up only gathering some of the blood that was around on the chest of his father, and left most of what had pooled on the ground. He also stopped blood from flowing back out. He still needed to do more, but he also had to stop the blood from flowing. Instead of thinking about it, William just did it. He held the magic that was keeping the blood mostly in his father, and started more magic.
William didn’t really feel now was the time for subtlety. Ribs were just like earth… like rocks. Calcium, and all that. Those had to be in the right place. So, he made them. With some more cracking and popping sounds, his father’s ribcage and sternum once again resembled what they should. At least, close enough with what William could see through the blood. Everything was still broken and bleeding, it was just set, and the flow controlled. Broken bones… those would be fine. Probably. The bleeding had to be sealed. Magic wasn’t much for mending tissue, at least not quickly… but something had to be done. Maybe he could make the flesh stitch itself together? That might cause problems with healing, but he could imagine the blood vessels turning into little filaments and intertwining where they were separated. Could he do it with magic? There was only one way to find out.
William wasn’t sure how long it had been. If felt like hours, but had probably been a few minutes at most. He was finished with the insides, and only a small amount of blood was oozing out of his father’s chest. That meant he’d done what he wanted… or he’d accidentally blocked the flow of blood. A few moments more, and he did the same thing to skin on the surface. Watching the process was disgusting, as he clearly saw some skin that was supposed to be on the inside appear on the outside, but as it knitted together, it just became on mess of something terrible. Still, it looked firm enough. William breathed a sigh of relief and looked down into his father’s eyes.
Those eyes were empty. Dead. He found a few new curses he had forgotten. Sure, he’d seen people die before, but many times that had been in a real battle. He’d had time to prepare for it… and in a couple of those cases he had died shortly afterwards. Such had been the case with Lila. In addition, he’d not had to see any of his new parents die. In his previous life, his mother had already been dead and he hadn’t cared about his father, but as the Archmage William, his parents had been alive and well when he died. “This can’t happen.”
One of those nearby carefully rested a hand on his head. William glanced up and saw a kindly old man. “He’s gone son. Even magic can’t save him now.”
He knew the word ‘son’ wasn’t used on purpose, but he couldn’t help but snap. “Shut up! Don’t tell me what magic can do! I know how magic works!”
The old man reeled back. “Listen, just…”
“Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!” William’s voice boomed. “I have magic! I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!” Electricity crackled around William’s hand, and the man continued to back up slowly. However, William was no longer paying attention to him. He took his hand, and directed the electricity into his father’s heart. He spasmed… then nothing. William swore, and did it again. And again. Even so, his father didn’t wake.
William wasn’t sure exactly what it took to restart a heart, but he knew it should have worked. Any more, and he would fry the heart like a chicken. Well, it would be a human heart but… William chanted again. Gevai weren’t human. Their bodies were stronger… and maybe took more to get going. Besides, what was he going to do- kill him? Once more he touched his father’s chest, and directed electricity in. He wasn’t sure where it should go to restart the heart, but he sent it anywhere and everywhere, eliciting some kind of response. In return, he got a faceful of blood… and then a few more of spit and blood as his father continued coughing. William smiled, and muttered to himself, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.” Then, he passed out onto the hard stones behind him.