Escape, part seven

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Harbend faced Trindai. He felt as if he was the one reporting to the captain rather than the other way around, but he was too tired to bother.

"We got them all back," Harbend said tiredly. "Any more trouble?"

"I think we made it," Trindai answered.

"We did, but please, find someone to take care of Escha!"

"What happened?"

"They got Trai, and we failed even to bring his body with us."

"Oh, darkness! How?"

"A spear. They were too many."

Harbend didn't want to say that Trai had been too careless, that he had taken an unnecessary risk. Why sully the memory of one already dead? Maybe Trai had challenged danger too overtly, but it had still been Harbend's decision to rescue Arthur. Nothing would change that. The responsibility would always remain his, and for the second time since they left Verd he'd allowed people who trusted him to die because he deemed it necessary. His wants. His needs. Always what he thought was for the best - as if he had any right to choose who got to live and who had to die.

Harbend turned in search for Nakora. He needed someone sensible, someone who didn't look at him in awe or gratefulness, and of the three who didn't, Nakora was the only one he had the strength to meet.

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