Caim walked out of the infirmary without so much as a backwards glance. Everyone stared at Vladimir, the half-elf having not moved an inch, a bewildered look smeared upon his face. His glazed over eyes came back into focus and he shook his head violently as if to rid himself of a particularly dreadful thought. Vladimir stared back at the onlookers. “I’m leaving tomorrow morning,” he said in a crisp, efficient manner. He got up, brushing off imaginary dust from his vest. “Any of you that actually remember our mission are welcome to join me; we have lingered far too long here and the road ahead has grown no shorter. None of us know how Raksha will react if we do not make it back in time. I do not wish to see the wrath of Freedom’s Legion and I don’t believe any of you do either.” He turned and walked out of the building, no loss of confidence in his step.
“Logical to a fault, that one is,” Derek sighed. Gali gestured to Derek. “Aye, a little compassion doesn’t hurt, but he does have a point. We’re worrying over one man of status when we could be delivering reagents that could save thousands.”
At that moment, a commotion in the adjoining room broke out. A soldier appeared at the door. “He’s awake,” he said, breathless.
Derek and the others glanced at each other and moved quickly for the other room. When they entered, they saw the officer sitting up on his cot, a soldier supporting him on either side.
He looked up at the new arrivals. “Hello,” his voice was like sand, rough and scratchy. “Sir Am’uel Ebonstone, Order of the Dragon, and right-hand to Ike Greil of the Greil Mercenary Company.”
“You ought to be part of the Order of the Phoenix,” Arily responded.
“Am’uel, less talk and more rest,” Ike said, relief and worry both fighting to be the dominant emotion. “You’ve been out for days.”
“Nay,” Am’uel continued. He winced in pain as he tried to slide off of the cot. “Help me up. I must show you the cave.”