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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

alcohol cleansed the wound. “When we've dug Nellise out, we'll be using some 'o those
healing flasks she was given back in town to fix you quicker, but right now I need to
spend a few minutes to clean ya up a bit before I set this leg in place.”
Aiden nodded, resting his head back against the least uncomfortable rock he could
find as he caught his breath. A few seconds later, his leg exploded with pain as Clavis set
the broken bone back into place with one swift, sharp move. Aiden's last thought before
the blackness rolled over him, was 'lying bastard'.
It was almost completely dark when Aiden finally came to, a headache pounding
behind his eyes and sharp pains throughout the rest of his body. The nearby torch was
burning low, its flickering flame no larger than that of a candle. A strong smell was in the
air, a kind of damp, musty odour that reminded Aiden of rotting vegetables.
His leg still ached, but it was a dull throbbing pain as opposed to a sharp, spear-
sticking-out-of- my- leg sort of affair, which was something of an improvement. The leg
had been splinted with the handle of an axe no less, and had been wrapped with a
combination of torn clothing and bandages. Turning his head slightly, he could see much
of the rock around him had been removed, and in its place was Nellise's prone form.
“Took an hour to dig them out,” Pacian said to Aiden quietly, sitting beside her. His
old friend looked unusually sombre and didn't take his eyes from her when he spoke.
“Nel took a blow to the head from a bloody big rock. She's lucky to be alive at all,
although there's no telling how long she'll be out. After all that effort to armour herself
up, she couldn't have bought a helmet too?”
Aiden slowly raised himself up to rest on his elbows, wincing at the various pains
shooting throughout his body at the slight movement. Nellise's breathing was shallow,
and the parts of her body that weren't covered by armour were torn and cut or wrapped in
bloodied bandages. C lavis, sitting at the base of the stairs, noticed Aiden's movement and
crawled closer to investigate.
“Ah, good to see yer awake,” he said, checking out the splint on the young man's
right leg. “Ordinarily I'd say ye'd have to wear this thing for six weeks before ya could
walk unaided again, but if - when Nel wakes up, she should hopefully be able to get ya
back on yer feet in a few hours.” He produced a small vial, most likely taken from
Nellise's pack, and handed it to Aiden.
He leaned to one side and used a free arm to take the offered medicine, which he
drank down in one gulp. It was foul-tasting stuff, but almost immediately he began to feel
a tingling throughout his body, particularly the wounded parts.
“Potent little mixture ain‟t it? That'll help ya out some, but it's not nearly enough to
fix yer leg. We used most of them to help out Sayana, and we've only got one left for
when Nel wakes up.”
Aiden heard a catch in his voice and with cold realisation dawning, began to pay
closer attention to their surroundings. The sounds of rapid, shallow breathing could be
heard from nearby. Fearing the worst, Aiden carefully dragged himself up the stairs
towards the noise, until he could see Colt sitting beside the wild girl, who lay in amongst
the rubble.
 
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