Chapter 27- months before hope

Peter was unsure how long had passed since he arrived in the showroom of the prison. He wasn’t thrilled being a trophy on display, but it was better than being destroyed. Zwilander kept him company too. He absolutely refused being wielded by anyone but Dramix. He showed courage in surrendering together with Naleeit rather than fleeing. Peter had lost count how days he had been on the pedestal. After a hundred days, he no longer cared to count. Instead of waiting, he kept experimenting with what he could do. He could use his manifestation, but he couldn’t interact with anything other than Zwilander, and he wasn’t going to be leaving Gulliver’s side. That left him with the option of searching the prison. Each time he left the eye, he grew weaker and slower, and less able to continue going longer distances. That is until he found them one day in the fighters pit. Both of them were thinned. Injuries from repeated battles were apparent as well. They still held hope in their eyes though.

The last time Peter spoke to Zwilander, he still heard nothing about a rescue plan, and still it would do no good to do so. He watched as they went after Dramix more than Naleeit. His injuries hadn’t healed yet, and she was starting to grow unable to protect him. Even at a disability, they left the arena only slightly injured. Their prize was some food thrown to them and the clothing of the dead that they took with them. He took for bandages until he followed them back to their cell where the two of them were locked away far from one another. When the door closed, Dramix started deeply breathing before lighting a small fire on a bone torch. He set it in the middle of the two before lighting another torch and leaving it for her. With what they didn’t use, they were made into bandages, then they set them on bone racks to drain out the blood to be lit another day. 

Peter formed beside Dramix shortly after observing them.

“We’re in quite the situation, aren’t we?” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix almost jumped in surprise after seeing him. 

“Spirit?” (Dramix’s Spirit Talking)

Peter nodded and kneeled down in front of him.

“Time is short, and my strength wains. I’m in the warden’s trophy room. So is Naleeit’s armor. Tell me about your escape plans.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix looked down sadly.

“We have no means to do so. If we were in the normal populous, perhaps we could.” (Dramix’s Spirit Talking)

Peter nodded with a smirk. 

“I’ll see what I can do. I’ve been communing with Zwilander. They’re in a refuge with other survivors of Gile. Keep having hope. I….” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

He then faded away. His strength must have given way during his message. 

Naleeit pulled on the chain a little before speaking.

“What did he say?” (Naleeit)

Dramix wasn’t completely sure how to answer her.

“He said that we must keep hope.” (Dramix)

Peter arrived at the amulet again to find he had company. He arrived in his drakan form exhausted and turned into fog a moment later. Zwilander looked at him amazed when he did so.

“You risk a lot each time you leave.” (Zwilander)

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Peter turned toward him. 

“I found them. They’re in a shared cell in the third section.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Zwilander wasn’t surprised. 

“You strained yourself. Keep pushing your limits and you’ll break.” (Zwilander)

Peter moved away in pain. 

“I see it in their eyes. They will break before I do. Naleeit is on the verge at the moment, while Dramix is a step behind. I have the strength for one more time. Time is short for them both.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Zwilander moved over to his side and looked into the vast emptiness. 

“Gulliver holds power by a thread. He marshals for the fight, but has lost heart himself. This is why I prefer the drakan’s hand to his. He has a set goal, and the will to carry through.” (Zwilander)

Peter smiled to himself. 

“If you ever wish to be in that hand again, tell that man to come and get us. They may have only days left. Their injuries have accumulated in the slave fights. Dramix never recovered from the forest, and Naleeit is wearing down from protecting them both. Without her, he will fall in the pit. Without him, she will lose her will to continue.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Zwilander sighed.

“There are forces here at play that you can’t control.” (Zwilander)

Peter moved away some when he said that.

“Naleeit is the hope of the young prince, and Dramix is their guide. By returning these two to him, he will no longer have any doubts.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Zwilander nodded.

“At what cost though?” (Zwilander)

Peter sighed.

“I know that I’m pleading for myself, as well as them. In the beginning, I came here for my own musings. I didn’t come here with the heart to do so, but I became attached to Dramix. Because of me, he became attached to Naleeit. I can see without me coming to Dramix, how things could have come to be. There are many fortunes for Gulliver and Naleeit without Dramix in their lives.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Zwilander crossed his arms. 

“I would still be in a barrel in that weapon shop asleep if such a thing happened. You know how I have a great part in this tale, do you not?” (Zwilander)

Peter paused. 

“Do you know more about me than I’ve said?” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Zwilander chuckled. 

“Think souls only enter amulets?” (Zwilander)

Peter laughed lightly. 

“Point made. Still, it’s time for you to return to him. I ask that you don’t return until news of their rescue though. I will prepare them in any way I can.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

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Dramix breathed hard, as only a few sparks left his throat. He hoped that they could light the cloth this time as well so they could find the food. He took in another deep breath to try again, but he started coughing. 

“Dramix?” (Naleeit)

Dramix held his side where he was cut earlier and bandaged it as soon as they got back.

“Talk to me Dramix.” (Naleeit)

Dramix looked for her in the darkness. 

“I’m so sorry Naleeit.” (Dramix)

He leaned on the pillar that his back was all too familiar with. He coughed again, feeling more blood coming out of him. 

“This may be the end of me.” (Dramix)

Naleeit pulled on the chain so he could feel it. 

“Don’t you dare leave me! I will kill you if you leave me.” (Naleeit)

Dramix smiled as the bone torch left his hand. 

Strangely, he remembered the legends and stories he was taught about his ancestors. Their struggles and trials. 

He closed his eyes as his limbs fell to his side before he spoke.

“I love you Naleeit.” (Dramix)

Dramix grabbed an arrowhead he’s been using for the last several months as a chisel and started cutting the link on the chain almost halfway through. 

“D*** you Dramix. Treat yourself!” (Dramix)

Dramix lost strength in his arms and dropped the arrowhead and fell to the ground again.

“After I pass, put all your strength into pulling the chain. I have weakened a single link that should allow you to escape.” (Naleeit)

Naleeit paused, as the chain started to pull him up.

“What are you doing?” (Dramix choking)

Dramix heard the chain on her end getting looped together, as it started binding his neck and getting caught in the hole of the chain. and his feet were off the ground. 

His feet were only off the ground for a moment, but then the chain snapped and he fell on all fours. 

“Why did you not say that before?” (Naleeit)

Dramix coughed several times, as he rolled over trying to find the bread. 

He picked it up and took a bite before grabbing some and sticking the soft part into his bandage. He went to his knees and found one of the torches and prepared his inner fire again. 

With renewed hope and after eating something, he succeeded in making a long enough for the torch to catch fire. She came to him after that and helped him back on his feet before hugging him. 

He smiled again, as he backed away and offered her the bread. She knew it was wise to eat right now, so she ate the bread and grabbed the jug. She then found several other jugs and food that was missed by them or previous other occupants in the room. None of it was useable though.

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