The priest came as promised early the next morning and worked on his miracle the next seven hours. He was drenched in sweat when he finally finished, his skin a pale pallor.
Leguna was down when he saw the priest's state. If healing a month old wound was that difficult, could healing decade old scars be too hard even if possible in principle? He was resolved, however, that, no matter how hard, he would do it for Eirinn. She'd given him live a decade ago, and he would do the same for her. It was his promise and he would keep it.
Eirinn didn't think about it much. Her attention was firmly planted on her hand. She shuddered when the healing finished.
"It's real," Leguna smiled gently, "It's whole again. We'll fix your looks soon as well. No one will look at you oddly ever again, I promise."
Eirinn recovered from her reverie moments later, rubbing the tears off her face.
"It's enough... This is... enough."
She didn't usually show it, but losing three of her fingers weighed on her heart. It was one thing to not look good, but lacking three fingers handicapped her as well. She couldn't hold a knife properly, nor use many tools.
While Leguna had said he would do something about it, she thought it was just consolation. She had worked in the tavern for most of life, so she had little chance to see the greater world and was ignorant of its wonders. She knew wounds could be healed, but she didn't think even severed fingers could be restored, much less scars as old and grievous as hers.
Leguna, however, had healed her fingers, was it really possible, then, for him to repair her face as well?
"Thank you, Big Brother!" she yelped, leaping into the boy's arms.
"Hmmm... Her figure is slightly worse than Annie's, but she has curves!" Leguna commented.
Vera's open palm connected with the back of his head.
"What, brat?!" she bellowed.
"You only know how to bully!" Leguna complained, rubbing the back of his head.
"Hmph, you're the one always bullying Eirinn. You always take advantage of her gentle personality. Let's see you try it with Annie!--" She turned to Eirinn. "--Don't be afraid, just tell me if he tries to bully you again! I'll take care of him!"
Eirinn blushed intensely the moment Leguna spoke. She backed away when Vera took action, clutching the hem of her shirt shyly. Her eyes glistened wetly when she felt her three formerly absent fingers clutch her clothes.
"There's that. We should pay our bills now."
Leguna forgot the torture he'd just endured when he saw the girl's hand respond normally.
"If it weren't for me, where would we get that kind of money?" Vera gloated.
It was three thousand gold coins, but she didn't look uncomfortable handing it over to the priest. Excitement dominated her face instead. There could truly be no doubt of her spendthrift nature. For people like her, the joy of spending wasn't about the stuff they get and the pleasure those things would bring, the spending itself was the goal and the joy.
"Thank you. Please tell me your name. I'll remember gratefully," Leguna asked earnestly.
The priests reasons were clear to him, he'd helped not for the money, but because he truly wished to do good for Eirinn. The materials and labor involved was worth more than he'd asked.
"Madin," the priest smiled friendily, "But, rather than remembering my name, remember the warmth and light of Pyro. All my power comes from His benevolent grace."
"Thank you, thank Pyro, and thank the light," Leguna bowed slightly.
"Well, my work is done. I bid you goodbye."
Madin returned the bow and turned to leave.
"Please wait, Mister Madin," Eirinn interrupted.
"Anything else, Miss?"
"I--" Eirinn hesitated. "--I am very grateful. I hope… Could… could I become a devotee?"
"Are you sure?" Leguna asked.
Leguna had little belief in anything incorporeal, much less anything divine. Many shared his disbelief in the divine; Kurdak and Annelotte were among them. Vera was a rare exception. She believed in Eirona, the goddess of the forest, though she was hardly religious. The goddess' name crossed her lips only occasionally before or during a fight.
Eirinn was both spiritual and religious. Like her adoptive mother, she was a firm Pyroan. As such, choosing to become a devotee of that particular god was both a big deal and not. It held great personal significance to the girl, and was completely expected in the eyes of others. Leguna had little issue with it, despite his strong disbelief. He was, at heart, a libertarian. Belief was a deeply personal matter as far as he was concerned and whatever choices people made in its regard, as long as it didn't affect those around them, was theirs and theirs alone to make; he would not stand in Eirinn's way if this was her honest decision. He only asked about it because he didn't want her to make such a significant decision in the spur of the moment, blinded by temporary emotion.
"Yes," Eirinn nodded seriously, "I want to help people like Mister Madin does. I want to be useful. I've always wanted to."
Leguna held the girl's gaze for a few silent moments before nodding.
"Alright. I just want to be sure you've thought this through. As long as this is your honest decision, I have no objections. What say you, Mister Madin?"
"Only a good-hearted person can hold such a pure desire so sincerely," the priest answered, "Pyro will not turn such a pure person away, and neither will I."
"Really?" Eirinn asked, nearly jumping.
"Really," Madin nodded.
"It's late," he said, looking at the sky outside the window, "Please come to the church tomorrow. I will guide you through the ritual then."
"Yay! Thank you, Mister Madin!" Eirinn said, hopping in place a few times.
"Alright, I should return now."
"Travel safe. We'll see you at the church tomorrow before noon," Leguna said as he sent the priest off.
He looked at Eirinn when he returned. The girl wore a troubled expression.
"Why do you look like you've done something wrong?"
"I… Was I being too forceful?" she half-mumbled, her head lowered guiltily.
"Not at all! If you really become a priestess, you'll be a saint! That's a great thing!" Vera shouted before Leguna could get a word in.
"Sis is right," Leguna jostled, "Mister Madin was right, your wish shows how gentle you are. It's your greatest quality and I'm happy to see you still have it. As long as you've thought this through, you shouldn't hesitate."
Leguna stroked her head gently, smiling.
"Enough. Go coo somewhere else. It pisses me off," Vera joked.
She knew what Eirinn felt for Leguna, so she shoved the two together the best she could. As far as she was concerned, Annelotte and Leguna were already married, they just had to get over their stupid issues and make it official. There were no rules against polygamy, so there was no reason her little brother should not have as many as she could send his way. Only worthy ones, of course. Luckily, she liked all three the girls currently fighting for positions in his unofficial harem, so she would make sure they got their wish, Leguna's wishes be damned. He should just sit down and obediently accept the women his big sis told him to take.
That was only Leguna of course. He got to have many women because she decided he would have many. Kurdak would only have one, her, and she'd kill him if he as much as dared to think about possibly considering wanting another, even if that other was just a pet dog!
Eirinn blushed at Vera's teasing.
"What are you saying, Sis?" Leguna's face was so thick he was half-oblivious to what the woman was saying, "Boss is over there. Show all the affection you want to him. Nobody will stop you."
"Hey! Did Legg's beating make you stupid? When did you grow the nuts to talk back to me? Let me teach you that little brothers don't get to talk back to their big sisters! Eirinn, Innie, get him!" Vera yelled as she leapt at the poor sod.
Innilis, sitting silently to the side, made a solemn oath. Sis Eirinn has her place now, too. I have to try harder! I have to be number three!
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