Final Fantasy – Crystal Beacon #50 (Finale)

They made an impromptu camp in the lighthouse’s living space. They rested without speaking, the silence broken by occasional groans of pain from the sickbeds and the howl of the storm still raging outside. Dawn was shining through the few viewports in the lighthouse when Nora awoke. She had slept on the ground next to Deormund and Dah’Marra, and was glad to find that they were both resting more peacefully than they had the day before. While she tended to their wounds and changed some bandages, she wondered how soon they would be able to travel, and if they would even survive a trip. If Luthadale was not safe, Morabella was the second-closest safe haven they could go to, and it was several weeks of travel through the Zedlei.

“How are they?”

Nora jumped in her seat. She had been so preoccupied she had not noticed Erroix on the stairs behind her.

“My apologies. I did not mean to startle you.” The elezens voice sounded more amused than apologetic, though. A chair was carefully brought over and he sat down next to her.

“They’re better. Deormund had it the worst of them, even considering his armour. He was struck between the joints,” While speaking she tried to assess if she had forgotten any of the bandages, “I was just thinking about where we can go if Luthadale won’t take us in.”

At first, Erroix simply nodded in response. “Would they be capable of travel?”

She looked down at her two wounded companions. Despite her ministrations, some blood had dripped onto the bedsheets, and she would need to change the bandages again before the day was out. “They both lost a fair amount of blood, and should they strain their bodies, they might lose too much more. I expect they will make a good recovery in time, but I would not move them for several days if at all possible.” The mage simply nodded again.

Both sat in silence for a while, looking down at the knight and the ranger. Faint hints of snoring could be heard from upstairs, if one strained their ears.

The grumbling of stomachs broke the silence. Nora looked wistfully at her backpack across the room. “I don’t suppose you have had breakfast yet either, Erroix?”

“I would prefer not digging into our travel rations until we know how long we will be staying and where we will be going afterwards,” The elezen looked at the locked door, “But avoiding doing so will mean foraging for supplies outside.”

Nora turned back to the sickbeds as Dah’Marra twisted about in her sleep. “We will need some food for these two as well. Hardtack is not the best sustenance for a patient.”

“It’s not the best sustenance for anything.” The staircase creaked under Bodvar’s weight. He had removed his armour. Nora realised she was still in her white robe. The highlander looked at the broken bed for a moment, then sat on the stone floor. “How are they?”

“Better, but still not good. We need some food, for them and us.”

Bodvar took a sip from his waterskin, offering it to the others. “I don’t think we should stay around for much longer. The storm seems to have largely subsided.”

Nora accepted the offer. “Surely that is a good thing.”

Erroix slowly got up from his chair to rummage through his own backpack. “Indeed, it would be quite beneficial for the village. But also make it easier for them to pursue those they think as their enemies, should they wish so.”

Nora handed the skin back, trying to examine Dah’Marra and Deormund’s injuries with a fresh eye. “You mean us.”

Erroix retrieved a few bags from his backpack. “Bodvar, help me with these rations. Nora, see if you can do anything to help us get on the road faster.”

The early day passed as they worked. Nora washed wounds and replaced bandages, casting a few magicks to try and speed their recovery. Her companions made a simple soup, softening the hardtack from their rations to make them more palatable.

Nora had just set her plate aside to replace some bandages when Deormund groaned loudly at some tightening.

“Please don’t do that, Nora. I’m sore enough as it is.” He hadn’t opened his eyes.

She hurriedly finished the binding then placed a hand firmly on his shoulder. Awake or not, he still should not move about. “Apologies, ser Wright, but your pain is preferable to the alternative,” She kept a hand on his shoulder but reached for her glass of water with the other, “Good to hear your voice again.”

“If you spoke a little more softly, maybe I would agree.” Dah’Marra croaked, one green eye ever so slightly open.

“Dah’Marra? You’re awake too?” Nora almost dropped the glass in surprise.

“I’ve been awake for hours. You make too much noise for me to sleep.”

The broken bed was salvaged of its last remaining bedding, and together some some surplus travel-robes, they propped Deormund and Dah’Marra into a more upright position and got them some food.

“It leaves something to be desired.” The ranger commented as Nora helped put the bowl away.

“Hardtack and travel rations do not make the finest soup.” Erroix responded as he put out the smokeless fire. They still wanted to avoid attracting the attentions of the town.

Dah’Marra shuffled a bit under the bedding, but the ranger knew she should not move too much, lest her wounds open up. “No, I suppose not,” She paused a moment, “What are we waiting for?”

Nora could guess what she meant. “What do you mean?”

“Before we can leave.”

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