After he was done with Tellias, Tythel and Eupheme let Otis lead them to beds to tend to their wounds. “Light, you have wings now,” he whispered when Tythel removed her cloak.
Even with everything going on, even with her worries about Nicandros, Tythel couldn’t help but smile. She’d only gotten to fly once since she’d gotten them, and she laid on her stomach to stretch them over the side of the bed so Otis could get to her back. The deep gash between her shoulders pulsed with pain when she moved. “Do you think you could so that up well enough I could fly again soon?” she asked.
Otis leaned forward to remove the bandage, and Tythel hissed involuntarily when the bindings were pulled away. Eupheme had done the best she could, but Otis was an actual doctor. “I know absolutely nothing about wings,” he said, carefully scraping something off her scales, “but I do know injury. That one’s deep. Does it hurt when you move the wings?”
Tythel nodded emphatically. “Shadow takes me, it hurts.”
“Then whoever stabbed you must have gotten through the flight muscles,” Otis said. “This is going to sting a little.”
He had undersold it. The liquid he put onto the injury made it flare up like he’d poured liquid metal into the injury. Probably worse than that would have felt – given how resistant dragons were to heat, Tythel suspected that molten steel would have hurt less. “What?” she gasped when he was done.
“Disinfectant. The best there is. Makes sure the wound won’t fester. You know its working because it burns.”
“Then it works very well,” Tythel muttered.
“You’d be surprised how often I hear that,” Otis said. “I can sew this up. But you’re not flying until it heals. The cut went into the muscles below. They’ll knit back together. Muscles are good at that. At least, they would for a human. You’re the first half-dragon I’ve treated, so I’m not certain exactly how it works.”
“I know dragons heal like humans” Tythel said.
“Then you will fly again. But I can do very little to accelerate it besides make sure the wound is clean and stitched back together. If you try to fly before its ready, you’re just going to reopen the wound. I think you got lucky – there are likely other muscles back here that, if they’d been cut, meant you wouldn’t have been able to even move them without reopening the injury.”
Tythel shuddered at the thought. She felt Otis press something sharp against her back, and then withdraw it. “Problem?”
“I…the needle isn’t going through easily.” Otis sighed. “Of course not. Dragonscale is hard for swords to pierce, if the stories are true.”
“So…what does that mean?” Tythel asked, worry making sweat break out across her forehead.
“I’m going to have to use a binding agent instead. You’ll need to make sure you don’t move until it dries and hardens. It’s as good as stitches, and will fall off on its own in time. That’s also the biggest downside – it means it’ll fall off before you’re fully healed, and if you try using your wings then, you’ll tear it open.”
“I understand. How long until it heals?”
“If you were a human stabbed in the same place? I’d give it a month, maybe two. For a dragon…I don’t know if you heal faster or slower than we do. I’d say to avoid even trying until you’ve had two months. When you move the wings, if the pain is more of a dull ache than a sharp pain, you’re probably fine.”
“I’m going to hold your word to that,” Eupheme said from the other bed.
Tythel grimaced. “What if it becomes a dull ache sooner?” she asked.
“Then you’re going to be cautious and not take risks, your highness,” Eupheme said, her voice firm. “I’m not having you tear your back open just when you’ve started healing.”
Two months. It could be worse. It could be like her eye, unlikely to ever work again. That’s probably how long we’ll need to meet back with the others, Tythel thought. “Fine.”
“Your word?” Eupheme asked.
“My word,” Tythel said.
The binding agent stung less than the disinfectant had, although it still wasn’t a pleasant sensation. “What is that, anyway?”
“Glue,” Otis said.
Tythel looked over her shoulder at him. “You just glued my back together?”
“It’s something the Alohym brought with them. A special type of glue, one of the strongest glues there is. I normally use it over stitches, to seal the wound, but it works fine on its own.”
“I’ve never heard of glue that could hold skin together.”
“It’s a fairly new treatment. The Alohym don’t use it that way – or if they do, they don’t mention it. A doctor I know who works with the Alohym field hospitals has found it’s a good way to provide battlefield injury treatment. Seals them up until something better can be done, if something else is needed. In your case…it will hold.”
“Thank you,” Tythel said. Eupheme and her both had other injuries that needed attention, and Otis tended to them with swift professionalism. Tythel tried not to note that Eupheme bore the treatment much more stoically.
“I don’t suppose you know where we can find a tailor that is both discreet and willing to handle odd requests?” Eupheme asked when Otis was done.
“For the wings, you mean?” Otis asked. Eupheme nodded in agreement, and Otis considered for a moment. “Are you staying the night? I might have someone for you, but I need to make sure they’re available.”
Tythel looked at Eupheme, who gave her a slight nod. “We will,” Tythel said.
She almost felt bad knowing Eupheme intended to spend the night spying on the staff to ensure there weren’t any unpleasant surprises.