Lt. Ailill was quiet for a long moment, before quietly saying, “That is quite the gift you’ve been given there, Garkhen. I would advise that you take every precaution with it. That armor would be worth a very great deal of money to the unscrupulous.”
The half-dragon nodded slightly. He was well aware of just what he had been entrusted with—even more aware than Ailill, even if he hadn’t known about all the things it could do.
After another long pause, Ailill said, “Now rest up. You’ll want to be on your feet soon.”
Garkhen’s eyes widened a bit as a thought occurred to him. “The others…?”
The healer paused on his way out of the room, and turned back to look at Garkhen. “Those who were with you all survived, and in better shape than you. If you ask about the army as a whole… it was war, and a terrible one. But it would have been worse were it not for the destruction of their leader. Some of the demons just disappeared in the middle of combat, and some seemed weakened. As far as we can tell, it happened when you defeated the one in the former Cathedral.”
“I see…” Garkhen breathed.
“Now rest. That’s an order.”
“Yes, sir.” Garkhen smiled slightly as the door closed.
It was almost a week after the battle before Garkhen could leave his room. Once he’d been able to manage sitting up, the young half-dragon had been ravenous, as if he had to make up for all the meals he’d missed while asleep. Lt. Ailill thought it a good sign, and it seemed that provisions were plentiful. Garkhen tried not to think about why that might be.
His first shaky trip to the mess hall was… quite an experience. As soon as he saw other soldiers—well, others than the healers—he noticed they stood at attention and saluted him, their expressions a little awed. Garkhen felt a bit embarrassed, but mostly was just focused on walking. He wasn’t quite sure how it had been so easy before, but he supposed a week spent mostly lying down would do that.
A cheer greeted his entry into the mess hall, and the healer escorting him had to speak rather sternly to the soldiers who tried to crowd around him. Instead, the table he sat at was soon filled, with only a little space around him won by the healer’s glares.
For the moment, they left him in peace, but he could hear the rumors flying around him.
“…twenty feet tall! And he smashed its head off with his mace, then its corpse fell on him!”
“…and that tiger-man wrestled with it, until the paladin got his holy symbol in its face…”
Each story seemed more exaggerated than the last, though they all seemed to agree on the core idea that he and the small group he had been with had fought something very large and important, and it was their victory over it that had resulted in the sudden turning of the tide of battle. While he was glad that meant they no longer looked at him like he might suddenly jump on someone and try to bite their face off, he wasn’t sure he preferred this attention. Well, it was better, admittedly, but he still didn’t like it.
Garkhen is not good in large groups. Something about mostly being around one dragon for most of his life, I suppose.