Chapter Seventeen: High hopes win battles, negative thoughts and words birth them.
Monty hadn’t left Nathan’s side since he’d delivered the samples to Salatia’s healers and despite his constant nagging, the healers were yet to divulge any information let alone hint at whether or not they’d had a breakthrough.
Nerina had been with him briefly, but of course, she had an entire city and country to care for in such trying times.
Nathan had fallen unconscious after the poison-induced seizure.
He had survived, although the healers had told him that his vitals had significantly dropped.
For now, Nathan was stable even if he wasn’t anywhere close to being healthy and needed to be check on an hourly basis.
But even in his sparked-out state, Nathan muttered disjointed words now and then.
Monty could see the man’s eyes rapidly moving beneath his eyelids, REM one of the nurses had called it, they’d told him it was why his breathing was so irregular, why his heart rate was so raised, why Nathan was experiencing facial twitches that made him appear to be in discomfort and why his fluctuating body heat brought on shivers or waves of heat that made his bead with sweat.
Thinking of everything Nathan was going through, awake or not, to Monty, it all seemed painful.
It had been some time since Erabos had supposedly contacted a man name Kyril Oldavan, a sorcerer that specialised in medicine and, in part, poisons that required medicine to counteract.
But as of yet, there had been no sign of the elusive healer, he supposed it was to be expected seeing as they weren’t necessarily on good terms with sorcerers.
Perhaps Kyril would demand payment too, they would surely be greatly compensated by the King, Monty himself would pay this Kyril guy if he had the money to do so.
He didn’t have much to his name like most of the people he knew, it was rare for outcasts, like himself, to have enough money to be comfortable.
Although, there were a few that worked their way back into society and managed to make a name for themselves, one of which he knew personally.
She had given up the life of living in the background and before the Raven’s had even risen to its name, she had left and made her way up the rans of the government.
Naturally with the power that came with running a country and the responsibility, she had forgotten where she came from as well as her friends.
At least it seemed that way when there had been no letters like she’d promised to send or even personal visits.
Monty hadn’t seen her in years and likely wouldn’t in the ones to come, but clearly she was doing well in her career and was much happier too, which was more than he could say for himself.
Afterall the life he had, like many others, didn’t suit everyone.
The nurse that had been assigned to Nathan for the evening shift, entered the room surrounded by the ruffling of his blue uniform.
He didn’t speak a word, but headed over to Nathan’s side pressing his index and middle finger to Nathan’s neck.
The nurse's eyes focused intently on the clock hanging on the wall, Monty knew he was counting the heartbeats.
A minute went by, pen scrawled on paper attached to a clipboard and then he was moving on to check his other vitals, jotting every single thing down as he went wearing the same unreadable expression that bugged Monty to no end.
“This is his family” Monty said as he collected up the photograph from the small table, his eyes fell to the photograph, his mind trying to put him into the memory so he could understand or at least feel the happiness within. “He was one of the lucky one’s. His parents managed to find a safe place for him ad his two older sisters during the war. His sisters live in Ignis now, one’s a school teacher in Ashrise and the other owns her own company, something to do with technology I think. Both of them have families too. Nathan’s parents retired to Millturn city” he mumbled out.
The nurse looked to him with his stony eyes “You seem to know him well” was what he said with tenderness in his voice.
“I don’t, Nathan just never stops talking. He has trouble processing his thoughts and whether or not it’s wise for him to say. You probably know him better with all of the babbling he’s been doing”
“I’m afraid not, his heartbeat is always changing and so is his state. His mutters make no sense to me either, so I do not know a thing about him”
“He’s an open book to most, a lot of people find him irritating and off-putting because of his tendency to run his mouth” Monty said, something mirroring pity perhaps, edging at his tone.
“There will always be those quick to judge, but as long as those such as yourself stand by him it makes the world a little easier. Friends are indeed hard to come by these days.”
Nerina entered the room catching both their attention, there was never a single hair out of place Monty thought, even if she were in battle he was determined that she would remain flawless, perhaps the blood would deflect itself away from her as to not stain her clothes or smudge along her pale skin.
Impossible he thought.
The unnamed nurse bowed as he addressed her, a custom that seemed odd to Monty but then it would seeing as those he was familiar with didn’t respect one another like the fae did, not even their own government.
“How is he doing” Nerina asked.
“His heart rate had escalated a little over the last hour as has his temperature. I suspect he will reach a fever state soon, no matter what we do the wounds are reinfected within minutes of being cleaned. My Lady, the poison is spreading” he stated, as he tugged the sleeve of Nathan’s shirt up to reveal the numerous lines spanning his skin that the nurses had been drawing to keep track of the poison in his veins.
The newest line had been added nearing the curve of his shoulder, it almost seemed pointless to keep drawing them seeing as there was no consistency to the distance it travelled, each pen mark was unevenly spaced.
“How far have the healers gotten with the analysis” she said with slight concern.
Monty hadn’t expected her to entirely be concerned, he wasn’t sure on everyone’s views but after the war humans and fae didn’t exactly get along and he presumed the High Council would be among those who disliked humans, but the care seemed to be genuine.
Not everything was as he thought he supposed, perhaps the things he’d grown up learning and assuming weren’t all true and maybe he shouldn’t be too quick to try and define something, afterall not everything he came across would be a threat.
“Not far My Lady, they are trying to savour as much of the specimen as possible to optimise their testing field”
“And Kyril still isn’t here” Monty added, a little less assured than than the nurse was trying to sound.
“Continue with the tests as if Kyril is not to show, in that case we will be prepared either way” she recommended.
“The chances aren’t looking to be in our favour” Monty added, the same concentrated and serious expression held on his face as it was in nearly every situation.
Some would call it an aggressive or terror induced look, with the seemingly constant frown and sharp eyes and furrowed brows.
He did receive a large number of startled looks from passers by, but also a good number of fawning gazes too, both of which he paid no mind to seeing as he was either busy or uninterested.
“Keep your hoped up, no battle is won with self-destructive thoughts. One must look forward with the idea for the best possible outcome” Nerina mentioned, a glint of understanding in her eyes and the slight rise at the corner of her lips showing her sympathy.
“Unless you are Rowan, he always told us to lower our expectations of success so that when we win, it seems like a much bigger success.”
“You are such a pessimist my boy” she said amusedly.
“It’s not hard not to be, My Lady. By expecting the worst outcome, one can be more prepared”
She listened to his words, he could tell by the way her face changed that she truly listened and processed his words, something he wasn’t very accustomed to seeing as those he lived with were just like him.
He couldn’t blame them, he too found it hard to listen to others, so he never expecting them to listen to him either but the way she seemed so devoted to doing so rattled him, perhaps fae were perfect.
“Am I right in thinking that you have, in that case, thought out the worst scenario for your friend?” she asked distinctly curious.
“Of course I have. The worst case is that we don’t find a way to reverse the poison and he…” Monty explained, trailing off at the end unable to finish the sentence aloud.
Nerina observed him carefully “There is hope yet for him. As there is for you, to find more optimism in the earth”
A knock on the door followed by the words of a guard announcing a groups arrival at the front gates, drew their conversation to an end with her encouraging words.
“Show them in” she commanded although they sounded to be more like friends than anything else, now that he thought about it many seemed to be comfortable enough around Nerina to ignore the customs such as bowing and using the phrase My Lady.
The fae just kept getting better and better the more time he spent around them, a lack of sense of hierarchy and more union.That was what the humans overlooked in their craze for power and control.
Nodding in understanding, the guard left, the door clicking shut after him.
“It seems we have guests” she stated as If they hadn’t been in the room.
"Thank you for everything” Monty found himself saying.
She simply waved his words away “High hopes win battles, negative thoughts and words birth them.” she said soothingly before too leaving, abandoning Monty to think over her tricky words.