Even though my magic healed my wounds, I ache from their memory and the exercion of our encounter with the Kusarakk. I know Furoji is fairing no better from her fitful moans and restless turning as she tries to rest on the hard rock floor. She seems fairly accustomed to sleeping on hard ground, but facing down the Kusarakk will no doubt leave her mentally scarred; at the very least she’ll have nightmares tonight.
I don’t dare start a fire for fear of attracting more attention to ourselves, I sadly miss the heat it would bring on a cool night like tonight. The higher we go the colder it will become, even during the day, as the air thins. I look at Furoji again and feel sorry for her. I lay my cloak over her and she snuggles into it instantly. Again I’m reminded of how young she is. In the Tower, young means the same as inexperienced; and up here, that is a deadly thing to be.
The fire would have also warmed the food in our bellies. It was cold, dried meat and some stolen fruit for dinner tonight. Furoji ate it so quickly that I fear it’s has been a long while since she last ate a meal; not that ours was a banquet. The sad and disappointed look on her face when I told her that was all she could have, we must conserve food as we climb, was almost enough for me to send her back. But she is determined to keep climbing, no matter what. Maybe tomorrow morning I can find a rat we can cook for breakfast.
My reserves of magical energy are almost completely exhausted. I have enough left for one strong attack or some healing. I’m loath to cast anymore defensive magic tonight, my last armor spell having run its course a few hours ago, for fear of being without the energy when I really need it. That was one of the most important lesson they drilled into my head back at the academy: always keep some energy in reserve for an emergency. It may just save our lives.
I remind myself again why I’m here. Tomorrow we can start searching in ernest for Samyuk and hopefully put some more distance between ourselves and our…my pursuers. Destroying the elevators will give us a lead, but depending on how fast and persistent they are, it may not be enough of a lead.
I glance at my lance and for a fleeting moment consider tossing it down some dark abyss to throw off our followers, but, almost as instantly, shake that idea out of my head. Without my lance, we are doomed to failure and certain death. It is my focus, my crutch; without it I cannot channel my magic. That is why I risked so much to retrieve it.
I snap awake. I must have nodded off. I will get no rest this way. I must rest or I’ll not regain my spell-power. I have to trust in the security of our location. If I wake tomorrow then we know I chose well. If not…