Distant shuffling came through the door as Chiharu listened to the slow approach of the woman. It came to a stop near the door, likely on the opposite side now. Through the speaker came a deep rich voice of a mature woman, "I don't play with kids. Leave."
An annoyed sigh came from Chiharu's lips as she really hated having to deal with everyone ignoring and misjudging from appearance alone. Removing her tanto and sheath, she presented the crest up to the spy hole on the door. "Look again carefully."
There was a little bit of silence, they woman had started to leave, but the tone of Chiharu's voice told her to stay. And then a few moments later, the locks on the door sounded as the door slowly opened. "What's the Chinen Clan doing here?"
Chiharu felt the pain dully through her body shortening her temper for dealing with unnecessary questions. "That should be obvious." She glared at the door, not sure if the woman was even looking or still willing to help. It was only until she heard the clicking on locks that she knew the woman accepted her.
"I've seen worse, though previous not so young. What's the heir to the Chinen Clan doing getting this bloodied?"
"Going to treat me?"
"Are you paying?"
"Keep asking dumb questions and I won't."
The woman flicked her eyebrow a little looking amused by Chiharu's fire. "You seem well enough to walk to the chair." She gestured for the young ninja to enter before closing the door behind her and locking it back up.
"You know that's pointless."
"It let's me know who has manners."
"And those that don't?"
"I kick them out."
Chapter 608 - Blood for Blood
Chiharu did not really know what to make of the woman. She had quite the attitude, that made it seem like she could do anything that she stated. And sparing enough to probably detour anyone with a weaker will. 'Grandfather never spoke about her, I wonder if she knew him? She at least recognized the clan.' The woman was a professional for the underworld, so she expected her to be knowledgeable and connected if the broker referred her.
Guiding Chiharu through a dimly lit room where only candles highlighted some tables and couple of chairs. Best guess with the low visibility, it was a waiting room or maybe just where she sat. She guessed that this likely doubled as her home. Through a sliding door, she entered a hallway finding the space to be larger than she expected for a back alley doctor. Only one light gave shape the space, her eyes could still manage to pick out a couple of doors, but they were non-descript. In Chiharu's mind they were bedrooms or office rooms. In the end, little of it mattered for her circumstances.
The woman opened a door at the end inviting the young girl into the room. She had a mental image of what it would look like, though given the more normal almost home-like appearance of the rest of the place, the idea of dried blood stains, rusty tools and an awful stench disappeared quickly. The room certainly did not look like a professional doctor's office, but it was sterile and very clean with a metal chair and some leather straps.
"Get up and let's have a look at your wounds." Chiharu moved carefully to avoid stress on her arm and gave a side glance to the straps. The doctor smirked a little noticing her looks. "Don't worry hun, the straps are pointless these days. I don't have anything strong enough to hold down a superhuman. But it will mean you'll have to restrain yourself through the pain."
It felt a little like she threatened Chiharu from the tone rather than just a warning, she was a hard read for the young teen. "I can deal with pain. This isn't my first time."
The doctor pulled back parts of her armor and bandages to look at the wounds. She looked up the shoulder and further around. "Damn, I've seen hardened yakuza whimpering with what you've done to your body. There's a story here."
"Ran into more trouble than I planned on. Had to deal with five superhumans, they had very annoying powers."
"Five? Are you crazy? One can be lethal enough."
"It was a job."
"Next time try to think about what you're doing."
"I'll keep that in mind." She had no intentions of being forthright about what actually happened. It was a mistake that she hoped to not repeat again, but there was little that she saw that she could have done differently in that scenario. Chiharu just had to accept that it happened sometimes.
A few minutes of examining her body, the back alley doctor seemed finished and stepped away over to the counter. The open wounds she checked left her fairly well coating in Chiharu's blood. Running water gave away what she did out of sight. "It's impressive you're still conscious, but I guess I'm still learning what's possible with our new bodies and the limits. Throws out everything we know about the human body."
"Can you do the job?" Chiharu did not know what the doctor was getting at with her statement. It was her body, she knew the limits better than anyone else, especially a strange doctor. She just needed them to fix her up and move on, a professional.
The woman turned around drying off her hands. A confident smirk remained over her face at all times. "But of course, hun. But it won't be conventional."
It felt more like a warning than a statement listening to the doctor. She had never dealt with this sort of person before. She had her expectations and this was nothing like she planned. "I didn't expect it to be."
"You're going to want to control yourself. Like I said, I don't have anything that can withstand a superhuman, so if you break it you pay for it."
"Just get on with it, I can afford your bill."
"I see you still got that confidence." She stepped to the left side of Chiharu and slowly raised her hand over the numerous wounds. "Let's see if that remains." A bit of a hum sang through her lips giving Chiharu an ominous feeling about how she planned to tend to her injuries. It was a detail that had not been explained.
Within Chiharu's mind, she figured a doctor had been granted something of a power that would heal, which was why she quickly accepted the suggestion from the broker. She needed to get back on her feet quickly. If it did not repair her injures like she wanted she knew that she would need to seek out less desirable options. 'I really don't want to go to him…' She needed this to work for more than this doctor knew.
"I'll be fine. Just do it already."
"As the patient wishes." The woman retrieved a scalpel and suddenly cut shallowly along her palm with blood immediately pooling up along the wound. Yet even though she turned her hand over it did not drop away. It just hung and clung to her wound until thin strings of crimson stretched out like fibers of silk.
Chiharu no longer knew what she was looking at or how it would help. The woman looked confident about what she was doing. So she could only guess that it was all part of the power she possessed. It seemed a little strange to be a doctor and injure yourself as part of the healing process.
While Chiharu never had an aversion to the sight of blood, the sight of it being manipulated in such a way left her more disturbed than she expected and for reasons that she did not understand. As they reached out towards her she fought her instincts to pull away. It looked more aggressive than protective. A macabre display of gore that teetered a razor's edge towards beauty.
She forced herself to stay still at the threads latched onto her arm becoming almost like a web as it wrapped around her before penetrating her skin. Flickers of pain shot through her arm and up into her shoulder. It did not feel nearly as bad as the attack themselves, though became thoroughly unpleasant the longer it continued.
As the doctor continued, she could see that Chiharu thought that the worst was behind her. "We're only getting started. Don't let your guard down now!" She seemed to punctuate that moment with more enthusiasm than a professional should.
Chiharu's eyes widen in surprise as she felt sharp worming pain digging through her arm. She bit into her lip some as the threshold of her pain started to be pushed. It remained manageable, but threatened her control. 'What is she doing? It's like something is inside me…'
An empty gasp came out of Chiharu as she fought to keep the pain from taking over. The amount of pain smashed through her mental threshold and seared through her body as she forced herself to not move. Her fingers dug into her palms as she did everything to keep control.
"Careful, squeeze too tightly and I'll have to fix your hands too. You're doing remarkably well for a child. I've made so many cry out rivers of tears."
Barely any of what the woman said made it through her ears with the pain ringing so loudly. But it all came sharply into focus as she saw a strange expression. While she had never been the professional that Chiharu hoped for, she had maintained a consistent air about her, something composed and proper. The woman felt very much above everyone else she spoke with, but that changed now. Her guard had dropped and she had an odd smile curling over her lips as though she was enjoying the experience.
A jolt of pain pulled her out of her clarity, though she kept enough focus to see that it tied to her. There was a response from the doctor in correlation to the waves of pain. Chiharu did not understand what was happening and the overwhelming screaming in her mind and body did not help things.
Disgusting feelings of worms through her body wracked her new forms of pain that she had never experienced before. It no longer focused on her arm. Perhaps the work was finished and she moved on, but barely even that could manage her thoughts as her mind went blank from the amount of spiking pain.
Enduring nearly an hour of what could only be considered questionable medical practice by the rest of the world's standards, Chiharu slump in the chair drenched in sweat and nearly numb from the general constant pain forced through her. She could not even speak.
Retracting her threads of blood, the doctor closed her hand and in moments the wound she created disappeared. "You did well, kid. Seems that you weren't all talk after all. I won't need to charge you extra." She turned away and walked back over to the sink washing her hands once more.
Focus slowly came back to Chiharu, though only her hearing still remained as though the doctor left that alone on purpose, as unlikely as that seemed. She wanted to move, but her body did not even seem to acknowledge her.
"Oh I wouldn't be trying to move right now. You're more likely to break something that I'll have to charge you for." Lack of mention of Chiharu's health came off less empty than it should have. She turned back around and walked over to the chair.
A new examination of Chiharu's body began now that the injuries were fixed. Redness from the mended skin and scarring remained at least for now. Stitches were not even required. "Most injuries I treat are more localized and only a single one. So my patients can walk out pretty soon. You however are a different case."
She ran her finger along the repaired areas testing and confirming the work. "Everything is healing nicely. You probably can't even feel anything at the moment, but there will be a lot of lingering pain and soreness tomorrow."
Tapping Chiharu's palm and getting a reflexive body response she put her arm back on the chair. "Given the new bodies, I can't give you an accurate timetable on your recovery, but children heal fast so you probably will be fine in a day if I were to guess. Once you're able to move again, you can use my shower to clean up before you leave. I'll go back to my reading before you interrupted me."
Chiharu glanced narrowly at the woman as she started to exit the door. "...wait…" she muttered forcing her mouth to move.
The doctor paused with a curious look in her eye mixed in with surprise. "You really are a special one…what's got you so eager to speak?"
To be continued...