Lotye had done her best. But the question remained, seemed to fill the room around her: How good was her best. According to her old dwarfen teacher, her best had never been quite good enough. This time though, it simply had to be. And it seemed like it was. Lotye let out a low sigh, feeling like she hadn’t drawn breath the whole time. The bleeding had stopped, at least on the outside, and strength seemed to have returned to Lord Nightwise with his dark staff, too. But she couldn’t really tell whether there was any internal bleeding or harm done to her master’s organs.
The only thing she could do was being at his side and making sure his condition didn’t change for the worse again. Together with the ship’s young wizard, Mistress Winddancer, she carefully bandaged Jeneyeru’s torso trying not to move him too much. So wrapped up was she in this task, that she was completely oblivious to what was going on on the ship around her. Sure, she had felt the harder manoeuvres the ship flew, she had heard the rattling of ballistas being readied, the shouted orders on deck. But right there, connecting these dots didn’t have any priority in her mind. The battle begun without Lotye even consciously noticing it. Just like she didn’t notice the Brownie sneaking into the cabin. “He doesn’t look too healthy …”
“You don’t say!”, she exclaimed, annoyed that someone would interrupt their work, but not turning towards the speaker.
She assumed it was one of the sailors, though his voice seemed a little high pitched for one of these burly men. That guy probably is the victim of a lot of jokes. But as he spoke on, she realised that her assumption couldn’t be right. Fastening the end of a piece of gauze with knot, she turned around. It took her about half a second to realise that the small figure on the back of the chair had spoken to them. Then, her first instinct was to jump forward to catch the Brownie, having no knowledge about the new alliances on the ground. But the little Faerie didn’t look and sound like he was playing a prank on them. He claimed that Peino had sent him. That can’t be right, can it? Lotye shot a quick glance over to Tayliana Winddancer, then she remembered that it was never a good idea to let a Brownie out of sight. But he was still there when her eyes returned to the chair. In that case, she could just as well go with it.
“Peino?”, she asked the Brownie, but her mind had already raced on, “Where is this temple? He needs better help, soon.” For the first time the sound of the battle beneath really got through to her. “Who is fighting whom? How de we get the Lord Magus to that temple in the middle of a battle? Oh, and what news should you bring him?”