The infirmary slowly emptied over the next few days. Moans from the wounded came every few minutes now. The group all flitted from patient to patient, applying new bandages and reassuring words.
“We don’t have time to wait around for this man to die!” Vlad said exasperated, his face darkening. “It has been two days and nothing to show for it.” He slumped down into a chair, his head between his hands.
“Ike has promised his assistance as soon as we know for certain what the outcome of his officer will be,” Caim replied calmly. “If we are patient just a little longer, our questions will be answered.” Caim tried placing his hand on Vlad’s shoulder to reassure him, but the half-elf angrily shrugged it off.
“Patient?” Vlad glared at Caim. He spoke slowly, malice dripping from every word. “Orcs attacked this place once. They could be massing for another attack while we sit in this ruin for a ruined man. There are maybe two score of us, and I bet half as many that could effectively wield a weapon now. There could be hundreds of orcs out there. Our lives are at stake for a whisper of hope and that hope died long ago, just as he should have.”
Caim waited for Vlad to finish. “Belief, faith, will… hope,” he began. “Not a single action do we perform without first a belief or hope in that action. We cannot function without belief. We cannot live without hope. He yet lives because we hope he lives. We all live because we hope we live. So, Vladimir, take our hope away. Let us die. Orcs won’t kill us. You will.”