Beorhtric uncomfortably shifted in his saddle. His chest was tight, like a greater weight than Pyri’s slight form rested against him. He wanted to rip his armor off, somehow manage a deep breath that went all the way through him. But he need to get Pyri and the rest of his warband back to the healer. Whatever that naturmagier had hit him with, right before Beorhtric had run them through with his father’s longsword, was just going to have to wait.
Pyri slumped back against Beorhtric again; he was bleeding from the nose. Again. Agathe reached over, but her horse shied away from the sudden shift in weight. Beorhtric sped up to match speeds and slid in next to her on the forest path. Agathe laid her hands on Pyri as Beorhtric grabbed Agathe’s reins. The blood slowed and finally stopped (again) several lengths down the path.
Several hand spans of the sun towards setting, Beorhtric and band found the healer’s hut on the edge of their village. Agathe was swaying in her seat from exhaustion. Pyri hadn’t woken yet from passing out earlier. Two of the newest recruits’ wounds were bleeding through the hasty bandages they’d slapped on before riding for the village — such shallow wounds, no one was giving them any mind though.
Well, if the recruits were, no one was going to listen to a thing they said about it.
Beorhtric scooped Pyri off the horse and carried him into the long hut; Pyri never did weigh much more than a child just large enough to begin sword training. The healer motioned to the first bed, the one closest to the door, and Beorhtric deposited him there. Agathe had hurried in behind Beorhtric and began grabbing jar off the healer’s shelves. The healer peeled back Pyri’s eyelids and barked instructions at Agathe.
Beorhtric stepped behind a panel and finally, finally, peeled off his chest armor. A deep, gasping breath later, the sensations against his calloused hands actually registered — he grabbed his tunic, pulled it straight forward, and looked down.
“Huh,” Beorhtric said, looking down at a pair of breasts he hadn’t woken up that morning with, “those are new.”