Linvin held his forehead and moved his skull from side to side in an effort to help his orientation. “I feel like I have been through a sausage grinder. My aches are compounded by weakness. Everything seems so fuzzy to me. What happened after Hugon whipped me? That is the last thing I remember.”
Anvar recounted what transpired up to the present time. Linvin had not recalled speaking with Necromancer or the doctor. Even after hearing the story, Linvin showed little recognition.
He was given more food and water from Anvar. As his body worked to consume the food, his mind felt reinvigorated. Anvar thought through the succession of events and then addressed his injured nephew. “I saw what you were trying to do with Hugon. Inciting him was very brave but foolhardy. The tactic nearly killed you.”
“It was worth the gamble,” Linvin mumbled in response. “I figured at that point we had little chance of survival. If Hugon removed our restraints we would have at least had a sporting chance to live.”
“Yes,” said Anvar. “Hugon is a coward. Such as he rarely will fight fair. Your miscalculation nearly cost you your life. As I said before, brave but foolhardy.”
“Well fate has seen to it once again that we survived,” Linvin said. “We have that reason alone to be grateful.”
“Grateful to Necromancer,” Bander corrected.
“So what do you think about our captor, Necromancer?” Linvin asked in return.
“He has saved our lives,” Bander pointed out meekly.
“To what end?” Rander implored. “Clearly he has some greater purpose for us and it doesn’t sound like anything we want to be involved with. We have traveled all this way only to be prisoners awaiting our deaths.”
In reaction to Rander’s despair Linvin sighed in such a way as to show he’d heard such talk before and was disappointed to hear it again. “If he wanted us dead, Hugon would have finished us. Necromancer has gone to great lengths to be certain we were kept alive. In fact, he wants us to be in fighting shape.”
“Perhaps he heard about what you did in Valia and wants you to serve in their army here?” Anvar asked. “Our imprisonment could be used as leverage.”
“So we are to be hostages?” Rander asked in fright.
“Do stop the drama,” Linvin ordered his cousin. “I am having enough trouble concentrating without you constantly telling me the world is ending.
“To your point, Anvar, it would explain why he wants us but not why he has kept the Emperor uninformed we are here. If my service were required for the army he would likely have told his master of our arrival straight away. Until we arrived here we were called the ‘Emperor’s Prisoners’. That proves he has interest in us as well and yet he is purposefully being kept in the dark about our arrival. It leads me to believe some sort of intrigue is afoot.”