Linvin took a drink and returned the water skin to his uncle. “I really am not sure. I have seen more than my share of wounds on the battlefield but nothing like this. Her entire back side has been scathed. None of her ribs are out of place but I am certain the breaks are inhibiting her breathing. I will watch her tonight, but if she does not wake by morning, I fear she may never. All of it is my fault.”
“How can you say that?” Anvar asked in shock.
“You were right, Uncle. I could have finished Hugon much quicker. I could have spared her some of this pain and perhaps her life if I had not sought vengeance. Once again I lost sight of the bigger issue and failed.”
Anvar recalled his words on the ride earlier in the day. He observed the agony of his nephew and sought to console the weary warrior. “My words were meant to inspire you to become greater, not to tear you down. Though it sounds like criticism to want you to be greater, you have lost sight of the fact I am acknowledging you are great already. From your account, Hugon did the bulk of his damage before you ever engaged him in battle. Perhaps you could have ended the melee more quickly but I doubt
Miri’s condition would have been much better. You are not to blame for this situation. I see now my lesson, which was intended to make you aspire to be better, only sewed the seed of guilt in your mind. For that I am sorry and wish I could take back those words.
“You are, however, dwelling on the negative. Had you not gone back for her, to keep your promise, she would most assuredly be dead. Whatever happens from this point forward, you did save her life. You are an honorable man and I am proud to call you my nephew. Only such a man as you would have been chosen for the Red Sapphire.”