October 24, 2014

In Which Aerina Gets a Similar Complaint

September 12, 1187

"Nephew!" Aerina greeted Jadin like she did all her nieces and nephews who were older than she was. She hadn't been quite close with any of them--perhaps she'd been closest to Viridis, who'd only be a few months older than she was--but it was still funny enough, the idea of an aunt who was younger than her nieces and nephews, that they usually got a chuckle out of it.

Jadin, however--usually more jovial than Raia or Searle--just grimaced. "Auntie."

"This isn't a social call, is it?"

"Uh... no, not exactly." Figured. Given that they weren't that close, they didn't make a point to make one-on-one visits often. But if Jadin wasn't here to chat, then he had a problem--a problem of her less-than-pleasant specialty. "I've been having some... issues."

A rogue nerve in Aerina's leg twitched. Close or not, there was little worse in the life of a healer than treating one's own friends and family. "What sort of issues?"

"Uh, well... it started with just a rash. I'd had similar rashes before, but they always sort of cleared up on their own after a while." As many rashes did. Many, but not all. "Then I started having some difficulties with, um... elimination. And..."

He flushed. She opted to spare him the trouble. "Other functions of that area?"

"Ye-es. No performance issues--just added irritation when... ready to go." That, Aerina wouldn't have known about firsthand. But Jadin wasn't finished. "Now I've been having some dizzy spells, headaches, fevers, digestive issues--and that's been the best of it. My innards keep flaring up. They're all right now, but sometimes, I swear they're on fire. It's like someone's trying to cook me with my own blood."

"That's a... vivid description." Vivid, and troublesome. She'd run into a healer from Tetranshire while gathering herbs, and the woman had said a man had recently come to her with a similar complaint. 'Flames in the veins', or something to that effect. Sadly, given the story, Aerina did not think Jadin would be the least likely of her relatives to contract the same ailment. "Could I maybe take a look at this rash?"

"Er..." He cringed.

As she'd thought he might.

"It's in kind of a, er... private area..."

NEXT CHAPTER: