Rise of the Thrall Lord
The Battle of Fisheye Cove - Part 16
The caustic bile that coated Uncle Vic’s left arm and side still sizzled slightly and Meriwynn detected an acrid smell. She grabbed his right shoulder and hauled him towards the water.
“Gully, give me a hand.”
Gully stood staring up at the statue and the lightning playing in the dome above it.
“Gully!” Meriwynn shouted at him.
He blinked twice and looked at her almost as if he didn’t recognize her for a moment.
“We cannot stay here,” the sword Inazuma said sadly. “If one dragon made its way in, there will be more.”
“Gully, put down the sword and come here and help me!” Meriwynn tried her sternest you’re-going-to-be-in-trouble voice.
Gully clutched the sword closer and looked at her very strangely.
“Inazuma let him go!”
“I am not holding him.” There was a puzzled tone to the sword’s voice. Then forcefully Inazuma said, “Boy! Place me on the ground, NOW!”
Slowly, with a jerking action, almost like one of old man Heriponzo’s marionettes, Gully placed the sword on the ground. He stared at it for a minute like he wanted to pick it back up.
“Gully, Uncle Vic could die!” Meriwynn felt hysteria creeping into her voice. “Please Gully…”
She gave another heave and moved the limp form of her uncle several inches closer to the pool.
When she looked up, Gully had Uncle Vic’s feet. He had that sheepish grin that he got when caught with his hands in one of Mum’s pies left to cool.
“Sorry Merry, I was … distracted,” he said softly. “Please don’t cry.”
“I’m not crying!” She snapped at him wiping something from her cheek. “Now on three, one, two, three.”
Between the two of them, they partly carried and partly dragged the unconscious body of their uncle to the edge of the pool.
“Keep his feet elevated while I clean the remains of this dragon spit off him.” Meriwynn was trying to remember what the Lady Gracelynn had said in her healing class. Mum had been in that one, along with a lot of the women from the village; the Lady called it ‘first aid’, and said it was very important if someone was hurt bad.
“Shouldn’t you raise his head instead?” Gully asked.
“No, that’s not what you do for someone in shock.”
“I didn’t shock him, I swear!”
“That’s not what I meant,” Meriwynn was a little harsher than she intended.
She turned and asked, “Inazuma is there anything you can do?”
The sword seemed truly sad when it responded. “I’m afraid I know nothing of healing. My function and fate has always been to do the opposite. But I believe you are wise and correct in your actions.”
Meriwynn undid the buckle on Uncle Vic’s satchel strap and then she began tearing strips from his shirt, most of the left side of which was ruined anyway. She soaked the fabric in the pool water and cleaned his wounds as best she could.
“Check his bag,” she instructed Gully, “see if there is anything to keep him warm.”
“Yeah, there’s a cloak in here. And torches, flint, three sacks, a bunch of travel cakes… great I was getting hungry… oh, and a compass!”
While Gully was inventorying the satchel, Meriwynn worked on gently cleaning the rest of the burns. As she finished and was just wiping his face, Uncle Vic began to stir.
He groaned slightly, and opened his eyes.
“I always knew angels of mercy were pretty.” Uncle Vic said with that familiar, infuriating, lopsided grin he had. She wanted to hug him, but thought better of it and only punched his good shoulder lightly.
“What are you doing here?” Meriwynn asked.
“Oh, the usual,” he quipped, “fighting dragons.”
Uncle Vic tried to sit up, and the grin turned to a grimace of pain.
“Ugh, I feel mostly dead.”
“You are. Now lie still.”
“I am sorry, but you cannot stay here.” Inazuma said. “There are more dragons, and they will come looking for this one. They could be here at any moment.”
“What? You hear that too right?” Uncle Vic was looking at the statue.
“It’s the sword,” Meriwynn said tiredly, “and he’s right. Other, bigger, worse dragons…” She shuddered slightly remembering that horrible red beast.
“Huh? Oh, of course, the sword…” Uncle Vic said dubiously. He sat up carefully and looked querulously at the blade on the ground a few feet from him. Inazuma wasn’t even sparking at the moment.
“Hey, check this out!” Gully held up a huge green gem in front of his face; it was almost as big as his head, and it took both his hands to hold it. “We’re rich!”
Meriwynn just stared, astonished.
Uncle Vic sighed. “Sorry Gully, we can’t keep that.”