This is a serial, first part HERE

Chapter 59: That which Devours, that which is devoured

It’s a common way of analysis, though not that many can do it. Destroy with as many different methods and reform after each one. Not a bad way to understand the nature of something. The more ways that you can destroy a thing and the longer you can renew it without deviation, the better your information will be. Naturally such a method is basically brute force analysis, and as with the majority of dimensional doctor techniques one that can be used for ends other than healing.

As for the Healer’s Wheel of Trials, Logriva, it is quite a popular construct among magical doctors, though many lack the ability to bring out the full potential of the spell. Indeed in the many dimensions that exist there are a multitude of variants, offshoots and stunted descendants of the spell.

As soon as the restoration of the severed maw was beginning to result in distortions Doctor Bones had Logriva annihilate the sample. As the magical construct faded away he stared at the brambleroot frozen in time on the Record.

-Separation will fail. Reversal is the only path left. Wither the brambles, bloom the Record-

Doctor Bones stroked the Record gently, some ancient Law passing from his fingertips.

-Stir the essence of hunger, the base of survival is good material, remember, the most common among beings for survival is to consume others-

The patient’s record shuddered and then it split open like a flower, but the petals of this wrapped around the rambleroots, and a most disconcerting sound of eating began. Doctor Bones nodded along with the crunching and wet slobbering, never once stopping his manipulation of the Record.

Yet… the rate of consumption slowed, and Doctor Bones pulled back, stopping what he was doing, the Record continued for a time before returning to normal.

-Too weak to eat fast enough to outpace the brambles, and I can hardly keep injecting time poison into the bramble-

After all, if he over dosed it, the corpseflower would die, and with it, the patient.

-Could it be strengthened?-

Doctor Bones shook his head.

-Your strong will has kept you alive, but with how much of your will is inside the corpseflower, keeping it from blooming, you’ve little left for yourself.-

He sat down, knuckles against skull as he considered the options left for treatment. There was a click of bone as he snapped his fingers mere moments later.

-Not enough strength to devour, so instead of the brambles, force the blooming, and have the Record steal the fruits of the corpseflower’s labours, to renew itself even as it dies.-

He looked on with doubt at the brambleroot and the Record.

-I’ll force it to bloom here. That’ll weaken its advance, and hopefully give my patient enough time…-

Tapping the root, he considered how best to force a blooming within the clinic. After some consideration, he pulled out a blue crystal fork with two needle-like prongs.

An instrumental. An artefact to supplant the intentions of any being. Though technically it did nothing to the mind. Instead it would dominate the flesh, physical or spiritual, of the patient. Doctor Bones did not however instantly jab the instrumental in. Instead he touched the Record once more, trying to communicate his plan to the owner of the Record.

After all, without the patient drawing back their indomitable will, the corpseflower wasn’t going to bloom any time soon.

Doubt, yet resigned acquiescence. Those were the feelings Doctor Bones received.

He was feeling much of those himself.

Still, he had gotten agreement. All that was left was to gamble on the edge of life and death, to try and grasp life from the jaws of death.

Calming himself, Doctor Bones jabbed the instrumental into the corpseflower as the effects of the time poison were beginning to fade.

It shrieked, at first in pain, then in joy.

So long restricted from blooming, what had stood in its way no longer was there. The plant didn’t even notice that the bud that it was excitedly forming was on its very root! Far outside the undead that had been feeding on the vigorous life of the brambles cried out in dismay as the plant began to wither from the outside in.

Before the bud began to bloom, Doctor Bones grabbed the Record and thrust it at the bud.

-Now, fight once more for survival!-

Unfurling into a flower-maw the Record savaged the new bud! Yet even as it did so the bud grew and began to bloom. The brambleroot twitched as it drew more and more life and will from the brambles and forced it into the bud. It even more savagely resumed eating the core itself! Yet just as it was replenishing its bud with life and will, the core was being restored by that same life and will.

Doctor Bones was not idle, as he delayed the bramble root with the instrumental and even dosed the corpseflower with more time poison, reaching the limits of what was safe.

The instrumental cracked and broke, the vigour of the corpseflower overwhelming it.

Yet, though medicines were out of the question, Doctor Bones had one method left to assist the patient. He jammed his hands right between the root and the Record. He couldn’t of course pull the corpseflower off, but it was enough to pull back on the thing.

It wasn’t much, but it was enough and soon instead of a root extending into the abyss of the Neverwilt the ends of the corpseflower could be seen, but still the corpseflower urged all into the production of the bud which was being devoured by the Record.

Finally with one last bite, the Record had eaten the ends of brambleroot, meeting itself.

The Record of survival shone in the air valiantly.

-Success?-

Doctor Bones had an uneasy feeling. He moved up closer to do a full checkup on the Record, as he did so…

It trembled.

The clinic trembled.

It cracked.

The Record cracked.

Bursting forth from these cracks were thorned brambles, like many serpents hatching from a single edge. The Record faded, vanished, and all that remained…

Before Doctor Bones could do anything else, his vision was filled the brambles of the corpseflower born anew.

All he could hear was the medical space shattering.

This is a serial first part HERE

Chapter 58: Clinical Preparations

-This time… a more delicate touch, setting up a clinic within his spirit, still better to do it from inside…-

Doctor Bones’ eyes flash bright and his horn sang.

-You who are stricken with illness,

I who am endowed with knowledge of ills,

You the patient, I the healer,

Beyond your will, beyond your powers, beyond that which ails you,

Curse upon me, no harm but harm to cure,

I within you,

So reduced, so bound, so empowered,

Till death or cure, never shall I part from within,

MEDIDIVE INFUSION!-

Abruptly Doctor Bones was no longer present and the spirit hand he had been hold was once more covered by the brambles. Instead Doctor Bones, conceptually reduced in size hovered before the Record of the mysterious patient.

-No resistance at all, such meticulous planning you have my patient-

Doctor Bones thought of many field clinics that a dimensional doctor could create, but he settled on one in particular. He held out his hands, and between them a ghostly image began to appear as he drew upon the Law within the patient and his affliction.

The image looked suspiciously like a two headed snake skeleton with blades for tongues. Such in the shape of garden shears no less. With a twist of his wrists the clippers chopped down on some unseen thing and like a bad dream the surroundings faded away. Doctor bones was now in a tomb filled with withered flowers. A deep darkness was in all the corners of this tomb, and no light no window was to be seen. The ceiling could not be seen either, naught but a heavy abyss was above.

In the centre of this tomb, upon a bare slab made of what appeared to be snake skeletons was the Record, and growing out from it, the roots of the corpseflower vanishing up into the abyssal ceiling. The Record had a more stable look to it, and the devouring the bramble root was doing had significantly slowed.

Neverwilt Clinic, a sealed space for the treatment of undead afflicted by plants. A surprisingly orthodox medical creation, one that leveraged the nature of the dead against the nature of the living. Though meant to ‘heal’ undead, it was fatal to the living. That the corpseflower didn’t instantly wither was testament to its power.

-That should be a bit better, now I just…-

A rumble. The very essence of the clinic wavered, brambles began to push through the darkness, threatening to tear the clinical space apart!

-This!? Neverwilt Clinic has been used before? However…-

The clippers manifested in Doctor Bones’ hands again.

-I am not some desperate novice! I AM THE LAST DOCTOR OF LATENT CORPENTSIS-

The two headed snake clippers flashed wildly driving the encroaching brambles back! Everything stabilized. Yet just as Doctor Bones was about to start, the very root itself trembled and a briar growling shot out at Doctor Bones, intending to eat him whole! Before Doctor Bones could react it was already upon him, There was a ghastly crunch as it came up against his medical barrier and cracks even started to form on the light projected from the horn.

Smoke poured from the maw and it continually broke down as it tried to eat him, yet even as that happened it reformed. It was clear that left unattended it would break the light of the horn by sheer persistence!

Now, Doctor Bones wasn’t just going to stand around waiting to get eaten! He pulled out a syringe! It was a golden one, vaguely in the shape of an hourglass.

-I’m sure all kinds of sedatives have been used on you, so take this!-

A question, when all other poisons fail, and one cannot send something to sleep, how then do you deal with it?

The answer is within Doctor Bones’ syringe.

A kind of time poison.

As soon as it was injected, the brambleroot froze. A little bit shaken Doctor Bones disentangled himself from the impromptu mouth. The clippers appeared and chopped the mouth from the main body. After making sure the give an extra dose to the main root of course.

-This looks like a big enough sample to test- Doctor Bones mused.

-Form, O seal of time and destruction. Tear and build anew, reveal the secrets before me through your cycles. Form, Healer’s Wheel of Trials Logriva-

A wheel of white metal, with eyes of blue gems slowly appeared like a drop of water appearing. The severed bramblemaw floated up above it and the wheel, laying flat began to rotate. At first you could see the wheel turn red and the gems shoot flame, destroying the maw, then reforming the maw, but as the wheel began to break down the bramblemaw in different ways it span faster and faster, until all that could be seen was a spacial distortion.

Doctor Bones could however follow it with his medical sight.

This is a serial, first part HERE

Chapter 57: The Root that Pierces the Root

Nothing changed as Doctor Bones drew close to the mysterious patient. No one movement came from the figure caged in brambles. With his special medical sight, Doctor Bones could see that the true form of the patient was a skeleton… yet…

There was no bone left.

The corpseflower had long since devoured all the bone, all that remained was a frail stubborn spirit in the form of a skeleton, radiating the most absurd quantity of will that Doctor Bones had ever felt. It was more than a little suffocating. Just what manner of life had this man led, to put up such resistance, to deny death to such an extent that the corpseflower grew endlessly without blooming?

-Just who are you?- Doctor Bones questioned, reaching out a hand to the tightly wrapped body.

Finally, there was a reaction. The sigils of Latent Corpentsis shattered, twisted and warped into the form of a shadowy robe, an echo of an echo, a transient manifestation of will! Something more like a message in a bottle than a true avatar of a living being.

-So, the myth exists and I am saved or doomed. I ask that you heal me of my affliction, before that corpseflower began to grow I had endured all. I am he who survived, no matter a wicked or a virtuous deed my only aim was survival-

-To end up in Necrobyssal either you must have lasted beyond the age deaths of dimensions or you failed in your ambitions, truly nobody can escape the limit of limits- Doctor Bones mused.

The echo barely looked at Doctor Bones, but when it spoke again it had clearly reacted somewhat to what had been said.

-I was betrayed. The betrayer was my own self. As I survived, as I watched others die, as I damned dimensions in the name of my own survival… it is a bitter lonely thing… I began to wish for the survival of others. I finally heard the cries of those who also wished to survive. So, bit by bit, my resolve to survive at all costs crumbled. My intent, my will was no longer as pure and terrible as it had been before.-

Shadowy figure flickered, there was not much time left to it.

-I now survive because I have become a pillar of dimensions. Rooted in me is the lives of countless others. Because of this I endured many battles, in the end my flesh losing its life. Yet I continued, even keeping my bonds unbroken. Then the corpseflower grew, and I fell to Necrobyssal. Unwilling. I, name forgotten, ask that for the sake of the dimensions that depend on me, heal my affliction-

The echo of will shattered, and Doctor Bones was left staring dumbly at the patient.

-How noble- he said uncertainly.

Was it admiration or scorn?

-After words like that, how can I bear to not make the attempt? Still, I shall see the truth of your words-

With one swift motion, Doctor Bones plunged a hand into the writhing mass of brambles, pulling out the limp spirit hand of the patient. The corpseflower mouth-less still screeched in fury, but from the glow of Doctor Bones’ horn it did not dare to encroach again upon the hand that had been pulled out. The hand itself was actually quite painful to hold, even with the magical protection Doctor Bones had.

Such was the burning will that resided within.

Sight pierced spirit flesh, and the world within a will, within the patient was revealed. No, the level of this being…

Not all beings that have dimensions within them are powerful, but it is very common for powerful beings to cultivate dimensions filled with lesser beings in their own body. Naturally having become undead, the patient’s dimensions were also filled with undead. However what was more shocking was the knot within the core of the spirit.

All beings have a core essence. The most vital part of a being. It is called many things throughout the dimensions. Some claim it is the soul, some the self. Record however is a common term. All beings have within them a record of their being.

As long as that record exists a being can be said to be ‘alive’. Only when this record vanishes does a being experience true death. As for what waits beyond true death, if anything? That’s the stuff mages murder dimensions over in desperation for answers.

Doctor Bones looked with amazement at the vibrant Record before him. To describe how it looks… what does survival look like? You can show scenes of such, but a physical symbol of it? For all the patients talk about impure intent, his very Record was survival. A life filled with it. A knot of the stuff.

Rooted in this knot were two other things of note. Twisting through space, were dimensions that did not dwell within the patient’s body. The Record was the foundation of these dimensions. Once it was gone, those would in time crack and break into pieces. The foundation being in the Necrobyssal was likely not doing those dimensions any favours.

Necromancers and the like were probably running wild. Golden ages for any forces that weilded the powers of death and undeath.

The real issue however was the other thing rooted in the Record.

The corpseflower itself.

These roots were like hands, like claws, like pincers like teeth. As vibrant as the Record was, it was being eaten. The shape of the roots as they extended out was not unlike a mighty dragon, there were similar corpseflowers, but if it was one that Doctor Bones knew of, the thing had changed too much from feeding on the will of the patient.

This was one of the main issues with being a dimensional doctor. It wasn’t enough to have knowledge because through the many dimensions all manner of things arose.

-It isn’t unlike the dragontree devouring dragon corpseflower, but it a violent nature more like the worldbandit. Still, this confirms that it is a recordblight rather than spiritbright. This makes things more troublesome… just a few tests and then I’ll attempt a treatment perhaps-

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