Without looking down, he could feel a warm heat coming from the injury. He forced a smile to his face as his eyes met hers. From the look on her face, he knew that she saw what he felt. Blood. A soaked bandage. As unlikely as it was, it seemed that the wound had failed to recover all of these weeks.
Even with his reduced healing speed, a direct consequence of limited light exposure and his expenditure in maintaining the ward, he should’ve, at the very least, fully scabbed over by now. Standing shouldn’t have threatened the integrity of the healing, yet it did just that. With his immunity, it shouldn’t have been possible… but he knew that familiar darkness. Unlikely as it was, he was infected.
“Your wound…” She said with wide eyes. Even if she had the average human’s healing rate in mind, he should be closer to recovery than he was.
“Yes.” He answered. “So, will you help me remove the bandages now?”
“You’re really…” She started with clenched fists.
“I know.” He answered. “I just didn’t think it would be quite so bad at the time.”
“Then will you be okay this time?” She asked, as she leaned closer to unwrap the layers of bandages around his torso.
“I believe so.” He answered, as she drew closer to him. “I have to thank a little monkey for climbing the trees and making a clearing for that.”
“I didn’t know what else to do, alright?” She huffed.
“No, I’m serious.” He answered. “Thank you for the clearing.”
“If you’re really as grateful as you say, then help me understand you.”
“To be honest.” He answered, smiling wryly at her. “It really wasn’t as I expected. The healing rate of this wound, even barring the reduction in healing speed in the limited light, I should at least heal at a similar rate what you’ve been used to. I’ve always limited the accelerated rates in the past to avoid standing out, but as you know… everything that I’ve done still failed to evade those gleaming eyes of yours.”
“So you weren’t trying to comfort me when you said that you told me you would be fine in a day or two, and then that I didn’t need to worry?”
“Under optimal circumstances, I would’ve expected to recover as I previously suggested.” He answered, averting her gaze. He had been trying to comfort her. Though he hadn’t noticed it when he released the light, his reduced healing rate had been already been more than apparent immediately after. Even so, better to let her stay optimistic than let her worry over something she had no power over.
“I see.” She answered quietly, as she worked on unraveling his bandages.
He cocked his head, curiously. Was that disappointment?
“Anyways, I suggest that we stay away from the local fauna in the future.” He said, before wincing as she yanked on his bandage just a bit too hard.
He felt a brush of cold air against his chest as she let out a gasp. He looked down, the bandages were removed, and the results were exactly as he suspected.
“The initial symptoms of petrification!” She whispered, echoing his thoughts.